Central Gwinnett quarterback Jarren Williams found wide receiver Donte Burton open, streaking down the right sideline. Burton took the pass and strolled into the end zone for a touchdown and leaped into the air with Williams in celebration a few seconds later.
It seemed like a typical play for Williams, but couple of special guests stood directly behind the action, keeping an eye on the Black Knights’ signal-caller. Kentucky quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw and Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney made the trip Saturday to watch the highly regarded recruit in action.
“It was a good feeling,” Williams said after his team’s 34-0 spring scrimmage victory over Discovery. “I just told my guys to stay focused, even though coaches would be out there. We just had to do what we do on the field. It felt good to see them out there with that support.”
Georgia and Kentucky have been at the center of Williams’ recruitment recently. The three-star prospect de-committed from the Wildcats on April 24, and Georgia’s staff extended an offer to Williams on May 4.
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On Saturday, Williams told The Telegraph that the Bulldogs aren’t legitimate contenders due to weak relationships with the coaching staff and no visits being taken to Athens during his recruiting process. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has tried to change that by joining in on Chaney’s efforts and recently giving a personal phone call to Williams in hopes of making a significant push.
“He told me that he was really impressed with me,” Williams said of Smart. “Although they got on me late, he said they want to be in the mix for me. Georgia wants to get to know me better, so they want to try and get me up there (this week). He wants to keep texting and keep that relationship going.”
Landing a dual-threat quarterback hasn’t been easy for Georgia as two of the state’s top prospects — five-stars Emory Jones and Justin Fields — picked Big Ten programs. A broader search hasn’t been successful either as California product Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Alabama product James Foster have committed elsewhere after receiving a Georgia offer.
“Nothing is planned right now,” Williams said of a possible Georgia visit. “I’m still trying to work things out. It’ll come down to whether I’m committed by that time as I’m still evaluating things. It’ll be soon. I’m not rushing, but at the same time I’m trying to get it over with.”
Williams made it clear that the Wildcats still hold the lead, but he also said Florida, Georgia and LSU will be final contenders. Williams made the importance of relationships clear, and Hinshaw and Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops began building one early as Kentucky offered in April 2016.
“Me and Hinshaw talk all the time,” Williams said. “It has been good seeing them here, and they’re like family.”