Rock solid: 'I will sign with USC,' Allen-Williams says

dcloninger@thestate.comJanuary 29, 2014 

Bryson Allen-Williams, linebacker and USC Class of 2014 commitment from Cedar Grove High in Ellenwood, Ga.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

— Despite his recent flirtation with Alabama and Georgia, four-star linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams says he is as solid in his commitment to South Carolina as he was in April, when he first pledged to the Gamecocks.

He visited Alabama this past weekend and will visit Georgia this weekend. And Tuesday Georgia coach Mark Richt made an in-home visit with Allen-Williams.

And what about the picture of Allen-Williams and Richt making the rounds on twitter? Or the rumor that Richt was stranded at his house because of the snowstorm?

No worries for his new legions of Gamecocks fans, Allen-Williams said.

He even took to twitter to respond: “Lol who made up this rumor of Coach Richt being stuck at my house ????”

“I only got this chance (to be recruited) one time,” Allen-Williams says, confidently. “Coach (Lorenzo) Ward is cool about it, coach (Steve) Spurrier knows I’m taking visits. But on Signing Day, I will sign with South Carolina.”

Like all recruits who give verbal commitments, he is free and clear to visit, talk, photograph and Tweet with any other college coach he wishes. Nothing is official until he signs his name on Feb. 5, National Signing Day, to a letter-of-intent.

He declares that school will be USC.

“It’s been getting crazy around here with schools trying to make a last-minute push,” Allen-Williams said. “I’m just thankful for the opportunity to be able to go to a Division I school. I’m ready to sign those papers.”

After his trip to Alabama, he tweeted that coach Nick Saban gave him a lot to think about, but he was still 100 percent a USC commitment.

So the Georgia trip shouldn’t change anything, either. And neither did his visit with Richt.

“He came to the house and talked to me and my mother about what UGA has to offer as far as me being a Georgia boy,” Allen-Williams said. “They tried to sell me on their program. They didn't negatively talk South Carolina or anything. It was a good visit. Coach Richt is a good person. They really don't think I'm going to sign with them. The coaches told me to just come up there and experience what UGA has to offer for free.”

Allen-Williams says he has invested too much time in helping the Gamecocks recruit the rest of their class that he won’t just walk away now.

“I told myself before I committed, whatever school I was going to go to, I was going to help recruit,” Allen-Williams said. “Mostly, I think out of all the guys we got committed right now, I helped recruit about seven or eight of them.”

Ward has mined the fertile area around Atlanta for sizable chunks of USC’s latest recruiting classes and this year is no exception. With Allen-Williams in the fold so early, the four-star linebacker turned to helping out his future team as best he can.

Terry Googer, Dante Sawyer and D.J. Smith hail from the Atlanta suburbs and are committed to USC. Allen-Williams is still working on four-star cornerback Wesley Green, just down the road in Lithonia, Ga., and is said to be making his decision between USC and Georgia.

“No matter where he goes, he’s going to always be my close friend,” Allen-Williams said of Green. “(We talk) probably about twice or three times a week.

“I think Wesley's all Gamecock in my personal opinion. I think he's all Gamecock and just going up to Georgia to listen to what they have to say also. I'm not going to try to sell him on South Carolina because he already knows everything about South Carolina he needs to know. Come Signing Day I think we're probably going to get him.”

Allen-Williams, one of seven four-star recruits in USC’s class, says he has been promised a spot on special teams, but spots in the middle of the field may be difficult to come by at first. That doesn’t matter to him – he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get on the field.

“It’s kind of funny because South Carolina was easy to sell and recruit kids to come to, because it’s an SEC powerhouse,” he said. “They’re on the rise. Finished number four in the country this year. Guys are starting to see South Carolina is a spot to be.”

Allen-Williams saw it and immediately recognized it. His pledge then was as strong as it’s ever going to be.

“I had the time of my life, first time seeing ‘Sandstorm’ in person,” Allen-Williams said. “I started coming back a little bit more for junior days and stuff, and when April came around, it was easy for me to pull the trigger.

“There’s nothing to worry about. I’m committed to South Carolina.”

Phil Kornblut contributed to this story.

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