Georgia has searched across the nation in an effort to find a quarterback for the 2018 class.
The Bulldogs extended offers to prospects everywhere from California to Florida. They fell short in landing Dorian Thompson-Robinson and James Foster. Georgia no longer stands in contention for Justin Rogers. The broad search began after five-stars Justin Fields (Harrison) and Emory Jones (Heard County) decided to commit to Big Ten programs.
But Georgia extended an offer to a local prospect Thursday.
Jarren Williams, a three-star out of Central Gwinnett, decommitted from Kentucky on April 24 and Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney came calling 10 days later. It was Williams’ first offer from an in-state program and Georgia also holds a childhood tie.
“It’s my home state, so that definitely means something to me,” Williams said. “I was raised in Georgia, and always watched Georgia on TV – even ending up at some games. It was big for me, and it was definitely good to get noticed by your hometown.”
While the offer was just extended by Georgia, the program has been involved with the Williams’ camp for quite some time, although in an indirect manner. Chaney mainly speaks to Central Gwinnett head coach Todd Wofford in regards to Williams’ recruitment, and the direct prospect-to-coach contact remains limited due to NCAA rules.
Williams does know that Georgia is in search of a sense of mobility of behind center, whether it be strictly a dual-threat quarterback or a pro-style quarterback with an ability to extend plays outside of the pocket. While the Gwinnett County product would fit that mold, the Bulldogs may have entered the recruiting process too late.
There are no current plans for Williams to visit Georgia’s campus and the priority of building relationships may make those trips necessary in order for Georgia to become a serious candidate.
“I haven’t gotten the chance to build relationships with those guys, so I would have to have conversations with the coaches,” Williams said. “I haven’t had the chance to visit campus, either, so right now, (Georgia) is not really (in contention). That’s a big part of it for me, because that is who will be coaching you for the four years, five years, however long you will be there. You have to know that they’ll have your back, and if you’ll want to be around them every day.”
Williams indicated that a new commitment announcement was soon to come but would not reveal a date to The Telegraph. At this time, the Wildcats’ standing hasn’t changed much for Williams despite no longer holding a pledge to the program.
If one thing is apparent, Williams is likely to continue his playing career in the SEC.
“The schools that are recruiting me the hardest are LSU, Florida, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi,” Williams said. “Kentucky is still No. 1 on my list and I still like the school.”
Kentucky’s pursuit of the 6-foot-2, 206-pound quarterback isn’t ending, either, as the coaching staff made another visit to Lawrenceville this week.
Once more, Williams indicated the NCAA rules and the limitations between face-to-face contact but the telephone conversations inidcate that Kentucky still views Williams as a priority. Williams holds a total of 23 offers, 21 of which are from Power 5 programs.
“(Kentucky quarterbacks coach Darren) Hinshaw and (tight ends coach Vance) Marrow came to the school (Friday),” Williams said. “Over the phone, we talk a lot, and they’ll basically say that they still want me and that there’s a great opportunity there. I have a good relationship there, so we know each other fairly well.”