Georgia seemed to be oh-so-close to adding one of its hometown natives.
But Grayson’s Jamyest Williams opted to stick with his original pledge as South Carolina prevailed in his recruitment.
The highly-acclaimed cornerback prospect ended his close recruiting battle Wednesday as he opted to don the garnet cap and stay true to his pledge, deciding to forgo the opportunity to play with his high school teammate Deangelo Gibbs in Athens.
“It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve made,” Williams said. “We’re going to put South Carolina on top. The relationships I have with (head coach Will) Muschamp make me feel like I can go and build there as a player and a man. South Carolina also has the best academic fit for my major.”
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Williams’ option to provide an opening to his recruitment began Jan. 2, when he told The Telegraph that he would take a visit to Georgia while still remaining “100 percent” committed to South Carolina. But the Gamecocks got the last chance to convince Williams to stick with his commitment, as his final official visit came on Jan. 27.
First came the trip to Athens, where Williams had the opportunity to consider the opportunity of playing in his hometown for four more seasons. Williams reiterated that he had plenty of respect for Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and greatly considered Georgia after having a long talk with him.
Williams indicated that Gibbs played a role in trying to attract him to Georgia, considering the two were teammates at Grayson. Gibbs was also already on campus during Williams’ official visit as an early enrollee. While it wasn’t enough, Williams looks forward to playing against Georgia in future seasons as the respect is evident for the program.
But the visit to South Carolina was one that brought re-affirmation for the Grayson product. Williams knew his destination before he departed from Columbia and he gave the Gamecocks’ coaching staff the final indication. Williams said he realized that South Carolina was the place for him when he was exploring downtown Columbia during his official visit and couldn’t imagine himself not playing in that atmosphere.
“Me and my dad had to sit down and talk ourselves through it,” Williams said. “With Georgia it’s my hometown, and I enjoyed it every time I went down there. But I feel like it was best for me to get away.”
Williams is the third cornerback signee for the Gamecocks, joining Travyn Jackson and junior college product Keisean Nixon.
But Williams had success as a two-way player, and had a significant impact for Grayson on special teams as well. The Gamecocks plan to use Williams on defense and special teams, and the opening is available for the rising freshman to earn immediate playing time, but that may not be the primary focus.
“When I told Coach Muschamp, he reminded me that it’s not about where I can play,” Williams said. “It’s about expectation, not opportunity. He’s expecting to turn this program around, and for me to come do big things.”