ATLANTA — Jamyest Williams is one of six children of a single dad. As a 4-star cornerback with the football talent to possibly make it to the NFL one day, the Loganville, Ga., native knows he shoulders a lot of responsibility.
“I had to grow up really fast, because it’s just me and my dad,” Williams said. “It allowed me to experience things and look at things from a different perspective, realizing what I could do for my family.”
The 5-foot-9, 170-pound defensive back has scholarship offers from almost 50 college football programs, according to 247Sports. It’s a lot of attention for a high school senior.
His father, James, knew that attention was coming. He tried to prepare his son and help him mature so it wouldn’t be overwhelming.
“He told me in the eighth grade I’m going to have to grow up a lot faster than other kids because this process is going to hit me fast,” Williams said.
His father was right. Georgia Tech became the first school to offer him in June 2013, before he had played a down of high school football. Since then, the process has only escalated.
Williams is nearing the end of the process as he enters his senior year at Grayson High School. He has narrowed his college choices down to a top five of Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, South Carolina and Tennessee. He said he will announce his commitment on Aug. 27. When he does, he will be sure to credit his father.
“He took me through the (recruiting) process,” Williams said, “and he built me as a man too, with my work ethic.”
More from SEC Country’s Q&A with the No. 8 cornerback prospect in the nation:
Q: What’s the most fun non-football thing you did this summer?
A: Really bonding with my team this summer. We went out to different team camps. We went to St. Simon’s Island down in south Georgia, over by Savannah. We also went to a West Georgia camp for a team camp. And we all just came together and experienced a lot of different things.
Transferring to Grayson from Archer, what’s it been like adjusting to a new school and to a new team?
It’s been really good. I think (Grayson head) Coach (Jeff) Herron’s done a great job, because Coach Herron is new too. So I think Coach Herron knew what it would take to get us really closer as a team, and I think taking us on those trips is what got us really comfortable around each other and allowed us to go to war for each other.
What’s your relationship like with the South Carolina coaching staff?
My relationship with them is just like I have with any other coach. I enjoy every bit of every time I go down there. I’ve been knowing coach T-Rob (defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson) since he was at Auburn. We’ve just always stayed in contact since then.
How old were you when you started playing football?
The first position I played was safety when I was 4 1/2 years old. And I’ll never forget, I made one of the game-winning tackles (that season).
Do you have any game-day superstitions or rituals?
I eat Zaxby’s before every game. But if they had a Raising Cane’s in Gwinnett (County), I’d eat Cane’s. I love Cane’s.
Is there any hobby or interest that you have that people may not know about you?
I like being on the water, going on adventures and going to the park and stuff. I go to the park a lot and just walk and talk with one of my lady friends.