Marietta, Ga. — South Carolina coach Will Muschamp realizes the importance of recruiting in the state of Georgia, particularly in and around Atlanta.
“This past year in the NFL Draft, the state of Georgia had 29 guys drafted and that was more than Florida, Texas or California, so it says a lot about it,” he told reporters, before a Gamecock Club meeting at Olde Towne Athletic Club.
Five South Carolina assistant coaches are assigned to various regions across the state.
Co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon, who’s an alumnus of Mays High School in Atlanta, recruits the city. Linebackers coach Coleman Hutzler works Gwinnett County. Defensive line coach Lance Thompson also works the area.
Bucks coach Mike Peterson occupies the “west corridor of Georgia, Carrollton down to Valdosta.” Tight ends coach Pat Washington has the southeast part of the state.
“It’s critical for us to be able to come, because we’ve only got 4.5 million people in South Carolina,” Muschamp said. “We’ve got really good players and we’ve got really good coaches, we just don’t have the numbers necessarily, every year, year in and year out.
“The proximity to Atlanta – three hours from Columbia – is outstanding.”
The South Carolina roster includes 21 scholarship players from the state of Georgia, six of whom were signed during the 2017 recruiting cycle.
Senior linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams is counted among them. The former 4-star recruit was rated by the 247Sports composite as the No. 6 overall prospect from the state when he graduated from Ellenwood’s Cedar Grove High School in 2014.
As a junior, Allen-Williams was second among Gamecock defenders in tackles (75) and tackles for loss (8.5).
“I think Bryson needs to have a big year for us,” Muschamp said. “He’s a guy that’s going to play stack linebacker for us, as well as rush. He’s got really natural rush instincts and able to flip his hips and move his hands and feet at the same time, which is hard for some guys, but he also plays extremely well in space at linebacker, played really for us last year, so we’re expecting a big year from Bryson.”
Four-star cornerback Jamyest Williams, the top-rated signee in South Carolina’s 2017 class, played his senior season at Grayson High School in Loganville.
“Jam’s a guy, we’re really excited about Jam. I felt like, in Gwinnett County, he’s probably been the best player in Gwinnett County in the last two or three years,” Muschamp said. “Saw him there at Archer and this past year at Grayson. (He’s) a guy we have a lot of confidence in.”