I did not see this myself but saw it referenced on the IC message boards. Ken Tysiac at ACC Now confirms that UNC linebacker Quan Sturdivant did indeed go over to console Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams in the aftermath of UNC's win over the Hokies.
Sturdivant's teammates were dancing and celebrating the win, as they should. But ESPN's cameras captured Sturdivant away from his team.
Williams has been perhaps the best running back in the ACC this season, and he's having one of the best seasons a Hokie back has ever had. But on Thursday night, he'd made a mistake that dashed whatever hopes the Hokies have of going to a BCS bowl.
Sturdivant came over to console Williams. He got him up off the bench, patted him on the leg, leaned over and said what we can only assume were words of encouragement in Williams' ear.
It was a gracious act when an opponent was at his lowest point. And it might have been the best thing that's happened on an ACC football field this season.
It was clear from the moment it happened Williams was devastated by the fact he fumbled the football deep in Hokie territory setting UNC up in perfect position to get the win. Williams was shown on the bench multiple times with his head down and undoubtedly mentally kicking himself over and over for the mistake. Had Williams held onto the football, VT would have simply punted it away forcing UNC to work their way downfield to try and win the game versus getting the ball on the edge of Casey Barth's range where they could milk the clock.
What Quan Sturdivant did speaks volumes of his character and class not only as a player but also as a person. As much as we highlight bad behavior, this type of act deserves to be applauded by anyone who calls themselves a college football fan.