Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
In his last 5 games, South Carolina linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams has 24 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions and 1 fumble recovery.

LB’s return boosts South Carolina defense; Gamecocks NFL draft hopeful reflects on time in Columbia

Welcome to SEC Country’s Chicken & Waffles, your daily dish for all things South Carolina Gamecocks football, basketball and more. Miss a previous edition? Find every edition of SEC Country’s South Carolina Gamecocks Chicken & Waffles right here.

On the mend

South Carolina Gamecocks linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams is excited to return to the field after a left shoulder injury sidelined him for much of 2017.

“It’s just building the muscle back and getting it back to where I was before the injury, as far as my shoulder. But everything else, running, I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life,” Allen-Williams said. “I’m at 235 [pounds] right now, so putting on good, healthy weight. I just feel great.”

Having played in less than three games last season, the Ellenwood, Ga., native was able take a redshirt.

The redshirt senior has primarily worked at the “Buck” position this spring but has seen some reps at weakside linebacker as well.

A 4-star prospect in 2014, according to the 247Sports composite, Allen-Williams has 137 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 4 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries in his career at South Carolina.

‘We felt that presence’

Former South Carolina LB Skai Moore spoke with Alex Martin Smith of SEC Country on Saturday to reflect on his time in Columbia, discussing the differences between former coach Steve Spurrier and current coach Will Muschamp.

“Once those guys stepped into the building and spoke to us, we felt that presence,” Moore said of Muschamp and his “NFL-type” staff. “Even in our first workouts, [strength coach] Jeff Dillman, he had a huge impact and just changed everyone’s mindset. It was a big, big difference and we saw it quick.”

Moore flourished under Muschamp and defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson’s system, earning All-SEC honors in 2017.

After redshirting in 2016, the 6-foot-2, 218-pound linebacker led the Gamecocks in tackles last season, posting 93 total tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and 3 interceptions. He’s one of just 15 players in NCAA Division 1 history to lead his team in tackles for four seasons.

‘It always feels like home’

Four-star athlete Jammie Robinson was back in Columbia on Saturday to visit the Gamecocks.

“Whenever I go up there, it always feels like home,” the 2019 prospect said. “South Carolina is my top school right now. I go up there and I enjoy it every time I go up there.”

The Crisp County High School (Cordele, Ga.) standout plans to take his official visit to South Carolina on the weekend of June 3.

Robinson boasts additional offers from Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Oklahoma and more. He’s rated as the No. 359 overall prospect for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite.

Tune in

SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan was on “The Press Box” with Brad Senkiw on 105.5 The Roar on Wednesday to talk all things South Carolina football and basketball.

McGranahan discussed wide receiver Chad Terrell’s injury, how quarterback Jake Bentley is working with new quarterbacks coach Dan Werner and the South Carolina basketball team’s NIT prospects.

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Another one

South Carolina women’s basketball player A’ja Wilson was named USA Today Sports Women’s Basketball Player of the Year on Wednesday.

The senior forward has seemingly won every other award and honor in women’s basketball in her four years at South Carolina.

The Columbia native is a three-time SEC Player of the Year and the Gamecocks’ all-time leading scorer.

Wilson helped lead the Gamecocks to their fourth consecutive SEC Tournament title on Sunday.

Still in it

South Carolina’s men’s basketball team (17-15) advanced to the second round of the SEC Tournament on Wednesday night after knocking off Ole Miss, 85-84.

The Gamecocks were led by guard Frank Booker and forward Chris Silva, who combined for 42 points and 15 rebounds.

No. 11-seeded South Carolina plays No. 6-seeded Arkansas on Thursday night.

Getting a rose

Former South Carolina baseball player Chase Vergason has been announced as a contestant on the new season of The Bachelorette.

The former infielder played two seasons at South Carolina from 2012-13 after transferring from Brevard Community College (now Eastern Florida State College). He started 103 games for the Gamecocks, according to Ben Breiner and Sarah Ellis of The State.

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