Bryson Allen-Williams is an upperclassman now, which means there’s little time to waste, so South Carolina’s junior linebacker is moving fast in response to that fact.
“He plays fast,” Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp said. “He’s one of the defensive guys that actually does play fast. He’s a bright young man. I’ve been really pleased with his retention practice to practice, his effort, his toughness. He flashes on the film.”
“Playing fast” is a high compliment from Muschamp, and the way Allen-Williams sees it, he has little choice. He was a four-star prospect and U.S. Army All-American at Cedar Grove High School in Ellenwood, Ga., and he thinks it’s time to fully live up to that potential.
“I am really excited for this season to go out and show everybody why I was so highly touted when I came in,” he said. “It’s very important to me to go out here and show everybody and prove to myself that I can really do this.”
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Allen-Williams has started three games in the last two seasons, and he finished last season with 23 tackles (the 15th-highest total on the team) and 3.5 tackles for loss. He is listed as the starting weakside linebacker this spring.
“They are looking at me at several linebacker spots,” Allen-Williams said. “They tell us to learn all of them. The more you can do, the more you’re going to be able to get on the field. I am having an OK spring. I am doing what I am supposed to do on and off the field, and I just have to go out and prove it during the season.”
He was happy to hear his sense of urgency on the practice field hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“That’s just how I play, high effort, high intensity,” he said. “As long as I make sure I go out and make sure I go 110 mph to the ball good things are going to happen. Nothing bad happens when you’re running fast to the football. I think I’ve grown a lot and matured a lot. It’s not high school. You have to learn that.”
He returned the praise for his new coaching staff.
“Coach Muschamp is a great coach, had great defenses in the SEC so why not want to play for him?” Allen-Williams asked.
He believes the Gamecocks’ revamped defense will be much harder for opponents to decipher. The downside of that at the moment for South Carolina’s players is there is a lot to learn in a short amount of time this spring.
“We don’t just have certain guys sitting in certain spots,” Allen-Williams said. “We do a lot of things. We are going to give you a lot of disguises.”
As for Allen-Williams, he’s hoping no one has a hard time recognizing him this fall.