5-star makes a ‘surprise’ visit to UGA

Could UGA flip 5-star Preston Williams? (AJC)

Could UGA flip 5-star Preston Williams? (AJC)

One of the nation’s top wide receivers showed up at UGA this weekend on a “surprise” visit.

Preston Williams is a 5-star prospect from Lovejoy High School who has been committed to Tennessee since the beginning of his junior year.

Williams is considered the state’s best prospect at wide receiver since Da’Rick Rogers was rated as Georgia’s No. 1 overall recruit in 2009. Williams is rated as the state’s No. 5 prospect, along with the No. 4 wide receiver in the nation, per the 247sports composite rankings.

What’s the attraction to UGA? “I just know he did want to take a look at Georgia,” Lovejoy coach Edgar Carson told the AJC. “He’s a homegrown Georgia kid, and he wanted to go there and look around.”

The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder flirted some with UGA, along with Florida, last spring, but later declared that he was “shutting down” his recruiting over the summer to stick with Tennessee. That’s why it was a surprise that Williams, who has kept a low profile in recruiting circles during his senior season, decided to take the UGA trip seemingly out of the blue.

And UGA won’t be the last stop outside of Rocky Top for the 6-foot-4, 191-pounder.

Williams is in the process of setting up a recruiting to trip to Auburn next month. “Yes, he is going to visit Auburn but I don’t know when,” Carson said. “We’ll probably set up that visit when he gets back to school next week.”

What is the status of Preston’s commitment to Tennessee? “Right now he’s still committed,” Carson said. “But he did want to look around because he committed so early. So I understand that. Tennessee is where he has spent most of his time. I guess he wanted to see what else is out there.”

As news of the UGA visit spread this weekend, some Tennessee fans were panicking. What would Williams’ coach say to Volunteers fans that are worried?

“Actually, I don’t know,” he said. “I’m going to honest with you: I don’t know what I would tell Tennessee fans. I hope they’re not panicking. He’s still a kid. That’s a big decision for any kid for the next 4-5 years of your life. That’s a huge decision, and a lot of pressure for a kid.”

There is some good news for Tennessee: Williams is saving his final official visit before signing day for the Volunteers, per his coach.

Williams recently expressed a concern about Tennessee on Twitter about having to take a medical redshirt next year, but it would a shocker – at this point – if he did not sign with the Volunteers.

What about UGA? The Bulldogs have been masterful with flipping top prospects committed to other schools – they have flipped five kids committed to other schools in the 2015 class so far.

What’s in UGA’s favor? Wide receiver is the biggest priority in this year’s class, and the Bulldogs would offer Williams a chance to play as a freshman — if he’s healthy. Williams tore his ACL and LCL a few weeks ago, and is expected to undergo knee surgery within the next couple of weeks.

“He is thinking nine months of recovery –with the way the procedures have been over the last few years,” Carson said. “We’ll see how it goes. He wants to be 100-percent healthy and play next season.”


Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com


— By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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