- Radi Nabulsi, Reporter, DawgNation
DECATUR, Ga. -- Defensive end Bryson Allen-Williams (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove) got his first start at middle linebacker Friday night, and the ESPN Watch List member loved it. He finished with double-digit tackles, multiple quarterback hurries, an interception and a forced fumble that teammate Daletavius McGhee returned 74 yards for a touchdown.
“That was my first game playing linebacker and I think I did OK,” Allen-Williams said.
Cedar Grove coach Ray Bonner predicted before the game that Allen-Williams would have a big night.
“People don’t know that he is a great standup linebacker,” Bonner said. “We have been playing him a defensive end and he has about 14 or 15 sacks but we are just going to let him play football tonight. I can’t say enough about him. He is a great football player with speed and size. Physically, their first step cannot match his first step. I have had everybody come in from UCLA, USC to Florida to everywhere because when you see his first step on tape you say, ‘That’s special, that is special.’ ”
Those scouting visits turned into scholarship offers, and more are likely on the way. Boise State, Duke, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, NC State, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee, UCLA, USC and Washington have all offered the 6-foot-3, 233-pound junior.
“Florida was the first offer,” Allen-Williams said. “I got a lot of attention from Coach [Derek] Lewis pretty early in the season. They were the first to give me a shot so I really appreciate that.
Aside from the Gators, Allen-Williams said that UCLA, South Carolina, Washington and USC are talking to him the most.
“USC -- one of the best teams in the west, one of the best teams in the country right now -- so you know the USC offer is a big offer,” Allen-Williams said.
The offer from NC State might be an even bigger offer in terms of where Allen-Williams may eventually enroll.
“My dad played there,” Allen-Williams said. “My dad ended up getting drafted from NC State. My dad is really pushing for NC State."