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Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Allen-Williams talks Georgia offer, timing

By Radi Nabulsi

Last Wednesday, Georgia picked up two additional signees to its Class of 2013 in DeVondre Seymour and Davin Bellamy. The coaching staff had hoped for at least three more top talents to join them but they found themselves in second place all three times.

Instead of licking their wounds on what was a disappointing day, the coaches were on the phones, working toward the 2014 class. A new offer went out to ESPN Watch List defensive end Bryson Allen-Williams (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove) that day and only time will tell if it was too little, too late.

“Yeah, it took a little bit longer than expected, but I got the Georgia offer,” Allen-Williams said. “It does feel like they offered me late. When Coach [Bryan] McClendon and I had previous conversations he told me that most of the in-state guys they offered had been to two camps at Georgia.  I went to two camps at Georgia so I felt like, ‘Why haven’t I had an offer yet?’ I went to the minicamp and I went to Dawg Night. But the past is the past and they changed recruiters. Coach [Rodney] Garner was my original recruiter and I never talked to him and now Coach McClendon my new recruiter. I talk to him almost once or twice a week. McClendon, he’s a real recruiter.”

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound junior said he understands the delay, especially in light of the call he made to the coaches on Wednesday.

“It was about 11:00 on signing day and I got a message from Coach McClendon that said, 'Give me a call; I got some good news for you,' ” Allen-Williams said. “So I call probably around lunch time and he said, ‘Bryson, you got a Georgia offer. We waited this long because we were trying to see who we were going to bring in.’ He said, ‘We don’t want to wait any more, so I’m going to go ahead and offer you.’ And he said the game was going to change now because, ‘We are going to recruit you hard. You’re the linebacker we want to keep in-state.’”

Keeping Allen-Williams in Georgia might prove difficult with his 22 offers and with the fact that South Carolina is his leader. The Gamecocks’ defensive coordinator contacted Allen-Williams moments after the Georgia offer became public news.

“Coach [Lorenzo] Ward actually heard about it over social media. He quickly messaged me on Facebook,” Allen-Williams said. “He said, ‘Don’t get too excited,’ and that they were the first to offer. He said ‘Georgia is late to the party.’ He was basically telling me, ‘I’ve been the one recruiting you first.’ South Carolina was actually my second offer, but I got it on the day I got my first offer so I can consider that my first offer too. He said ‘Georgia’s basically late to the party and they want you now that everybody is on you and I was on you when nobody was on you.’ ”

Allen-Williams is quick to point out though that all the talk of the timing of offers is immaterial compared to other factors such as education, fit and scheme. His response to the Georgia offer, in particular, showed that the Bulldogs could give the Gamecocks a race for his services.

“It was a good reaction,” Allen-Williams said. “Georgia has been one of my favorite teams for a long time. It’s the home school. They played for the SEC championship twice. They haven’t been able to make it to the national championship but Georgia is a good program. I like the defense under Coach [Todd] Grantham and I heard he’s staying now so the defense is going to be even better this year.”

Listed as a defensive end, Allen-Williams can also play inside or outside linebacker. He was offered by the Bulldogs as an inside linebacker and noted that “Georgia has NFL production with linebackers.”

On Saturday, the Bulldogs will host a junior day and Allen-Williams plans to return to Athens to meet with the coaches. Shortly thereafter he will stop taking visits as the two-sport star will focus on baseball.

“I’m thinking about visiting Florida because I think next weekend is probably the last weekend I have free,” Allen-Williams said. “Then I’ll be playing baseball.”

His first game is on Feb. 18. Whichever school Allen-Williams signs with could also be getting a pitcher as well, although he is not sure if he wants to play both sports.

“It’s been mentioned to me by a couple of coaches,” Allen-Williams said. “They heard I’m a good baseball player and they want me to play or they asked me if I want to play, and right now I really haven’t considered it. I love football; baseball is something I do on the offseason and I’m just so happy to be a good athlete, you know, good at it a little bit.”

Modesty wouldn't let Allen-Williams mention that he led his county in strikeouts last season, throwing a fastball once clocked at 89 miles per hour. He admitted that when facing a 3-2 count he throws the “heat or the splitter.”

As usual, it is all about timing.