NFL player returns home, takes time out to speak to local students

WACO, Texas (KWTX) A professional football player from Central Texas who’s making a big splash in the NFL in his third season spent his bye week visiting children in the same district from which he graduated, encouraging them to dream big.

Andrew Billings with some young fans. (Courtesy photo)

Andrew Billings, a 2013 Waco High School graduate who was a defensive lineman at Baylor from 2013 to 2015, spent Friday afternoon speaking to hundreds of students at Waco High, West Avenue Elementary School and Crestview Elementary School.

“That was a great experience,” Billings told KWTX.

“I've never talked in front of a big crowd like that, like 300 kids and you know I just gave a little piece and they started asking all the crazy questions.”

Billings was picked up in the fourth round of the NFL draft in 2016 by the Cincinnati Bengals, a Super Bowl hopeful team this season with a record of 5-3 that happened to be on a bye-week the weekend of Baylor’s homecoming.

Billings said it’s been a great year.

“It's just been a good year. You know coming on my third year the game is starting to slow down,” Billings said.

“I can recognize a lot of stuff now and as far as developing my game it's really been a good chance for me now that I’m starting and getting more practice reps just to develop myself into the player I want to be.”

Billings attended the Baylor vs. Oklahoma State homecoming game Saturday at McLane Stadium and appeared on KWTX’s “Baylor Gameday” show just prior to kick off where he talked about his favorite part of coming home.

“It's always special just to go home to my parents and sleep in my own bed and wake up to breakfast made for me and just wake up and go up to a Baylor game.”

Billings and the Bengals take on the New Orleans Saints Saturday.