By Dalton Ross
January 19, 2019 at 02:00 PM EST

Ricky Williams was a dominant running back on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy in college and punishing defenders for 12 seasons in the NFL. But the enigmatic star also carried a bit of a reputation. Williams served various suspensions after being caught violating the NFL drug policy four times, with marijuana being the main culprit.

And after his playing days ended, Williams went on to become a medical cannabis advocate. So, yes, there has been a bit of chatter out there that Williams enjoyed partaking in the wacky tobacky, and that reputation often seemed to obscure his professional accomplishments and other personal attributes.

So when asked by EW what misconception about himself that Williams was looking to dispel while competing on Celebrity Big Brother (which premieres Jan. 21 on CBS), the former running back did not hesitate. “I think a big misconception towards the latter half of my career is that I am a pothead,” says Williams. “In the house there won’t be any pot, and so it will be a chance to show people who I really am outside of the rumors.”

WAIT, THERE’S NO POT IN THE BIG BROTHER HOUSE?!? That doesn’t seem right. Regardless, Ricky looks forward to showing both the other contestants and the millions of viewers that there’s more to the man that a seeming affinity for reefer madness.

He also thinks he can win! “I’m an authentic, genuine person that people typically like,” Williams tells us, “and I think I’m going to be a difficult person to evict.” But he does recognize he needs to work on his social game. “The hardest thing about being in a house with all these people is gonna be to be social and force myself to be social,” he notes. “I’m naturally a loner so I’m going to have to keep reminding myself, make small talk. Even though it’s painful for me, make small talk, make small talk. Get to know these people.

And you can get to know Williams by watching our video interview above. Also, make sure to check out our Q&As with Anthony Scaramucci, Kandi Burruss, Kato Kaelin, Joey Lawrence, Dina Lohan, Ryan Lochte , and Lolo Jones as well as our full cast gallery.

Episode Recaps

Big Brother

Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

  • TV Show
  • 22
  • TV-14
  • CBS
stream service