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Michael Carvell

Top Georgia recruit to makes last-minute trip to UGA

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  • UPDATED: Williams confirmed Saturday’s official visit to UGA via Twitter

One of the state’s top uncommitted prospects not named Lorenzo Carter will take an official visit to UGA this weekend.

Andrew Williams, a 4-star defensive end from Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy, will visit UGA on Saturday after meeting on Friday with Bulldogs assistants Jeremy Pruitt and Tracy Rocker.

DT Andrew Williams of ECLA (247sports)

DT Andrew Williams of ECLA (247sports)

“I think he is going to go up there tomorrow and watch film with the coaching staff,” ECLA coach Jonathan Gess told the AJC on late Friday. “But I know he’s not going up there today. He might go there on an official visit tomorrow. I can’t tell you if he will spend the night there tomorrow night, but I think he is.”

Williams is ranked as the state’s No. 17 overall prospect, and has Auburn and Clemson as his co-leaders. He will announce his decision at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday in a ceremony at ELCA, the Class A private school in  McDonough.

Why does Williams have interest in taking a last-minute trip at UGA? “I think he’s just looking,” Gess said. “A lot of times, these kids don’t want to tell anybody ‘No.’ I think Andrew knows he wants to go to Auburn or Clemson, but his daddy wants him to go to Georgia and hear out the new DC and Coach Rocker. It’s one of those things where if you go to Georgia and you’re not swayed, then you really do know you have the right final two schools with Auburn and Clemson. If they do swing you, then maybe you didn’t have the right schools.”

The 6-foot-4, 247-pound Williams is projected by recruiting analysts to be a traditional defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. Pruitt will be running a 3-4 formation at UGA, but is trying to convince Williams that he would fit into that scheme, too.

“Andrew is a 4-3 defensive end — he’s a defensive end for a four-man front, and he knows that,” Gess said. “But that’s the big selling point for Pruitt. He wants Andrew to come in and be able to show him on film ‘This is how we will use you.’ Pruitt is saying he’s more of a four-man front more than a 3-4 guy. Who knows? It’s hard to decipher what college coaches are selling you. I don’t think that Andrew is going to Georgia. I just think he’s not going to say ‘No’ to an invitation to sit down with the coaches. He’s going to check it out, and his daddy wanted him to do that.

“I think Drew has a great relationships with Auburn and Clemson. So it would be real hard for Georgia in one day to swing that because he’s got great relationships with both head coaches at Auburn and Clemson, along with both defensive line coaches.”

Rodney Garner (AP)

Rodney Garner (AP)

Ironically, one of the main reasons that Williams likes Auburn so much is because of his relationship with defensive line coach Rodney Garner, the former UGA recruiting coordinator. Garner didn’t show much interest in Williams when he was at UGA, allowing other schools to get a gigantic head start ahead of the Bulldogs in the recruiting process.

“Andrew had an amazing senior season,” Gess said. “I think when people look at Drew, maybe because we’re a smaller school and don’t get the clout that a Lorenzo Carter would get, when you come in and look at him, and you see his body and his physique, and you watch film and his feet, it’s easy to see he’s probably one of the best, if not, best defensive end in the state. He has got long arms, big hands and he’s 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds — and there’s not an ounce of fat on his body. Of course, with Auburn and Clemson and a few others, he was always No. 1 on their board. He has always been the guy they had to have. Pruitt wanted him bad when he was at Florida State, but Andrew didn’t want to go to Florida State. That’s why Georgia is getting in on him now. “

More on Pruitt and the 3-4 defense: When Pruitt was hired as UGA’s defensive coordinator a few weeks ago, he explained how players would be used in his 3-4 scheme: “First thing is I’m not really familiar with what was done here before, but we are and will be a 3-4 defense. However, in this day and time when you look out there, you’ve got people who say they’re 3-4 or 4-3 but at the end of the day, you watch teams play and there’s so much difference. One week you might play against a team that has two tight ends and one running back, and next week it might be one running back and four wide receivers. So teams that are 3-4, you’ll see them line up in 4-3 defenses and teams that are 4-3, you’ll see them line-up in odd defenses. I think you’ve got to be able to do both. That’s what we’ll do. We’ll figure out who our best guys are and we’ll get our best guys on the field.”

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