In the end, it was an easy decision.
Don’t get Bryson Allen-Williams wrong – while he was on campus at Georgia last weekend, watching the Super Bowl at coach Mark Richt’s house, there was some doubt that began to creep in. Despite being committed to South Carolina since April, despite telling The State and several others that he was 100 percent committed and would sign with the Gamecocks on National Signing Day, Allen-Williams was feeling the pressure.
He meant what he said at the time – he loved USC, loved the program, loved the relationship between he and his future defensive head, Lorenzo “Whammy” Ward. But man, these Georgia guys were just selling.
“When I was up there, it was hard,” Allen-Williams said on Wednesday. “Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt, coach Richt, those are some great guys. They really put the full-court press on me. They had me thinking a lot.”
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Allen-Williams had come back from a visit to Alabama still fully pledged to USC, but Georgia had him slightly wavering. Now, when “wavering” only meant a drop from 100 percent to 95 percent, it wasn’t that bad.
It’s recruiting. Every school knows that no commitment is complete until that precious piece of paper is in hand at the football office. USC, just like everybody else, has felt the sting of commits, either long-term or short-term, suddenly flipping when it came time to sign.
Would Allen-Williams, who had not only pledged to the Gamecocks but helped recruit seven or eight others in the class, become the latest?
“I gave my word,” Allen-Williams said. “That’s what it came down to. Then I started realizing all the reasons why I committed to South Carolina. I don’t have any regrets, and I’m not going to have any regrets.”
Allen-Williams made it official on Wednesday, wearing an all-black ensemble to school except for a garnet-and-black print matching bow tie and vest. He tugged on his USC cap, signed his name and faxed it in – and the Gamecocks breathed easier.
“I’m very excited. It feels so surreal,” Allen-Williams said. “I really can’t believe I’m in this position.”
The four-star outside linebacker, ranked sixth at his position nationwide and the No. 8 prospect in talent-rich Georgia, plans to enroll in June and compete right away for playing time.
Allen-Williams saw many of the friends he helped recruit sign as well, and was waiting on one in the late afternoon. Cornerback Wesley Green, just down the road in Lithonia, Ga., was set to announce at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. A close friend of Allen-Williams, Green’s commitment could put a nice cherry on top of the Gamecocks’ 2014 haul.
“I feel great,” Allen-Williams said of a potential Green get. “I feel great.”