~William “DD” Hoggard ~ NC State University Athletics / Former NFL Player
Skipping his first name, as like some celebrities, only the nickname is needed— He is fondly known by everyone as simply, “DD.” Whether “DD” Hoggard or William Hoggard, either is a name of a phenomenal man with a phenomenal spirit. As you peruse through his interview, your heart will begin to warm, as you lightly inhale nothing but genuineness and “good.” Yes, he was always a standout in sports, which landed him in the NFL, but even more significant than that, is his love for Jesus The Christ, his lovely wife, and their beautiful children. As most Bertie County folk know, “DD” wasn’t the first from the county to matriculate to the NFL, as notably, Jethro Pugh and James “Tootie” Robbins also made us proud. He is, however, my favorite former NFL player; He is my friend; He is my brother (from another). Take a few minutes to smile—and some will reminisce—through his interview, and no doubt, you will have a window view of the heart of a special human being, who is Bertie Black History! We are so proud!
TCV1: What community/street did you grow up in as a Bertie County youngster?
DDH1: I grew up in the town of Windsor, NC on Ghent Street.
TCV2: What’s your very first thought/memory of life in Bertie?
DDH2: I truly enjoyed time playing and hanging with my friends, while we all grew up and developed.
TCV3: What age did you develop a love for sports, especially football?
DDH3: At nine years old, I began playing my first organized sport. I played baseball for Lawrence Carter’s Union ‘76 team. At twelve years old, I began playing organized football for R&W Chevrolet.
TCV4: Who were the most influential people who formed who you are—As a person? As an athlete?
DDH4: As a person: My dad, LC Hoggard, Jr., taught us discipline, while our mom, Beulah, taught us compassion. As an athlete: Playing baseball for Lawrence Carter’s Union ’76 taught teamwork and togetherness.
TCV5: What is your most memorable high school experience? How did it shape you?
DDH5: Several—In football, just playing each game with guys from Bertie County. In track, being a member of Coach Shelton Bond led track and field team. He was a phenomenal track coach!
TCV6: What college did you attend? Why that choice?
DDH6: I attended NC State University. They allowed me to compete in both football and track. Attending NCSU also allowed me to continue playing football with my high school classmate, Ricky “Foots’ Bunch. Little did I know, but the Lord had it planned for me to meet the love of my life, my wife, Deitra, at NC State also.
TCV7: What is one thing that college taught you about life?
DDH7: Actually, there are two things…Discipline and Patience.
TCV8: What professional team(s) did you play for?
DDH8: I played for the Washington Federals of the USFL (US Football League) and the Cleveland Browns of the NFL.
TCV9: What is one word that describes your stint in professional sports?
TCV10: What are three of your most proud sports stats—collegiate and/or professional?
DDH10: Playing 8th grade football with my teammates at Bertie Junior High was unforgettable! —Running on a great 4X100 meter relay team in college at NC State was fun. — Being a member of three AFC Central Division championship teams while with the Cleveland Browns was special.
TCV11: What are three of your greatest personal accomplishments?
DDH11: Accepting Jesus The Christ as Savior and Lord is The Greatest thing that’s ever happened by far! Living a Faith-filled life…. Being in awe daily of His absolute power, and the abundant love He has for us! —Meeting and marrying the love of my life, Deitra, at NC State, and having her as the mother of three precious children.
TCV12: What advice would you give young boys/girls that would motivate and inspire them to accomplish their goals?
DDH12: Always continue to learn! Be mindful of the company you keep! Keep Jesus first in all you do!
TCV13: Your favorite quote?
DDH13: Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
TCV14: Today, I am grateful for________. (One word)
DDH14: Today, I am grateful for JESUS.