The state of Georgia has been especially good to South Carolina’s football program over the course of the last decade, with a number of notable Gamecocks hailing from the Peach State.
The Class of 2012 isn’t proving to be any different. USC now has eight total commitments, and defensive end Darius English, safety Kyle Fleetwood, linebacker T.J. Holloman, defensive tackle Carlos Hood and cornerback Rico McWilliams are all from Georgia. Each of them is located within one hour’s drive of Atlanta.
McWilliams, a rangy corner from Lovejoy High School, committed to the Gamecocks last week. He missed more than half of his junior season due to a leg injury, but McWilliams still scored six touchdowns – a mix of defensive, offensive and special teams scores – in 2010.
The 6-foot, 170-pounder, who has run as fast as 4.38 in the 40-yard dash, discussed his commitment and his talents in a Q&A with GoGamecocks.com:
Never miss a local story.
Question: Why did you choose South Carolina?
Answer: I just had a great bond with the defensive coordinator, coach [Lorenzo] Ward. We had a good talk and my family liked it down there. I just felt like it was the right thing for me to do.
Q: What do you feel like you’ll bring to USC’s secondary?
A: I’ll bring a lot. I want the ball. I’m a ball hawk. I’m a competitor. I’m going to do my best every time I’m on the field. I’m not going to let wide receivers do anything against me. I’m going in thinking that the quarterback is throwing to my side on every play. I’ll be a good defender.
Q: How do you think you’ll fit in with the Gamecocks?
A: I feel like I’ll fit in well. I’m a corner by trade, but with the defense they run, they play with five [defensive backs] on the field. So, I can play corner or a little safety if needed when I get there. It’s a good fit for me. I love the defense they run.
Q: What roles do you fill at Lovejoy?
A: I play corner and a little wide receiver. In my ninth- and 10th-grade years I started at running back. I can still play there. At the end of my 10th-grade year my coach asked me about playing defense. He said, ‘Rico, you’re a competitor. Why don’t you try corner one time?’ When you play around the neighborhood you have to play corner. When I went over there, it was just nice. Ever since then I’ve been playing corner.
Q: How bright is the future for USC’s program?
A: They’ve got a good future. They won the SEC East last year, and even though they lost in the championship, they lost to a national championship team. They’ve got great players coming back and had a great recruiting class with the No. 1 player in the nation, Jadeveon Clowney. They’ll be alright. There is a real good future coming up.
Q: How excited are you about your commitment?
A: Very excited. I’ve always dreamed of playing college football. Everything that I’ve dreamed about is all coming true. I grew in Louisiana on the SEC. Now I can say that I’m going to play in the SEC. That’s great. I can say now that I’m a Gamecock.