Josh Kendall

Travaris Robinson sheds more light on Jamyest Williams, outlook for USC safeties

With more than four months left before the 2018 football season, South Carolina’s coaches aren’t thinking of Jamyest Williams as a “safety” or a “cornerback.”

“He’s a football player,” Gamecocks defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson told The State.

Williams, a 5-foot-8, 175-pound defensive back who was the crown of the 2017 recruiting class, played nickel back as a true freshman and had 38 tackles and two interceptions, earning a spot on the All-SEC freshman team. However, he missed the Outback Bowl and spring practice because of a shoulder injury, and head coach Will Muschamp indicated this spring that he planned to move Williams to safety in the fall.

“I’ve been around a lot of football players and one thing about guys like that, guys that compete, guys that can tackle, guys that can cover, they can play anywhere you need them,” Robinson said. “Jam is a guy who is an unselfish dude who is excited about the opportunity to learn more. That will help his career as he tries to get to the next level.”

Robinson spoke to the Augusta Gamecock Club on Thursday and indicated to the crowd that Williams’ height is a major factor in the decision to give him a look at safety. South Carolina would like to keep Williams out of “jump ball” situations in which a taller receiver can simply out-leap him for a reception in man-to-man coverage.

The Gamecocks' lack of depth at safety also is a factor in Williams' possible position switch. Muschamp indicated this spring that Steven Montac is the only safety he feels comfortable can play “championship football” at the moment.

“I’m just as nervous, but we have some young guys who can help us,” said Robinson, who also is the team’s defensive backs coach. “You look at a young guy like R.J. Roderick, was a high school quarterback, hadn’t really done anything in the secondary, from practice one to practice 15 he’s a totally different dude. Jaylin Dickerson, we’ve got a couple guys that I’m very excited about.”