Posted: 11:45 pm Friday, January 24th, 2014
By Michael Carvell
UGA is a darkhorse candidate for one of the state’s top uncommitted prospects.
Andrew Williams, a 4-star defensive tackle from ECLA, plans to take an unofficial visit to UGA early next week to meet with coaches. If things go well, Williams could return for an official visit at UGA next Friday, the final weekend before signing day.
UGA’s flirtation adds some spice to what was once considered a two-horse race between Auburn and Clemson. The 6-foot-4, 247-pound Williams visited Auburn last weekend, and leaves for Clemson on Friday.
It could be a wild finish.
“I’m going to wait until signing day (to decide),” Williams told the AJC on Thursday night. “I still have a couple of schools I want to visit. I don’t have any top schools right now. I’m just trying to get all my visits in, and then lay out the facts and numbers.”
The relationship between UGA and Williams has taken a lot of twists and turns over the last couple of years. Williams didn’t get much love from UGA when Rodney Garner was the team’s defensive line coach – which was ironic because Garner later became one of the main reasons that Auburn is now considered the school to beat.
Garner’s replacement at UGA, Chris Wilson, reached out to Williams but never really made any progress.
Things began to turn in UGA’s favor when new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt made an in-home visit with Williams on Tuesday.
“Me and Coach Pruitt, we were really close when he was at FSU,” he said. “FSU wasn’t the place for me, but he went to UGA and started recruiting me. We’ll see how it proceeds from there.”
Williams had to cut Tuesday’s visit short because he was sick with food poisoning, but Pruitt left him with something to think about:
“Over the phone, he said me and Allen-Williams were two of his guys that he wanted personally for this class. So I guess that says a lot, with everybody they’ve got coming in, that us two are his choices.”
Bryson Allen-Williams, a linebacker from Cedar Grove High School, is committed to South Carolina but will take official visits to Alabama and UGA over the next two weeks.
“Coach Pruitt said he is going to bring in a whole new scheme that will bring that FSU vibe to Georgia. You see what they did this year, so you can’t put down what he’s saying. You’ve got to at least look or listen.
“Pruitt and Coach Jimbo Fisher offered me going into my junior year but I never really felt that vibe at FSU. But other than that, I have a good feeling about Pruitt. We’ve had a good relationship for a long time. He’s a good football coach. He knows X’s and O’s. He knows how to produce, and how to put players in the right place. That’s what I look for in a coach.
“I’m not saying Georgia is at the top with me, but I’d be dumb not to see what he has to say.”
Pruitt invited Williams for an official visit to UGA on Jan. 31, and he’s considering it, along with trips to Tennessee and Penn State, among others, on that date.
Right now, the tentative plan is for Williams to make an unofficial visit with the Bulldogs at the beginning of next week.
“It will be just for the day, for a few hours to sit down with the coaches and break down film,” Williams said. “They want me early during the week, so they can convince me to come later that weekend for an official visit. It’s in my hands at this point. I just feel like if they want me that badly, I’d go over there and listen.”
Williams is rated as a 4-star prospect and the state’s No. 17 overall prospect, per 247sports. His older brother played football at Georgia Tech.
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