UGA has an exclusive guest list at its recruiting event this weekend.
It is mostly a seniors-only gathering, but one young pup will be there: Archer junior cornerback Jamyest Williams plans to attend. He will do so at the request of new coach Kirby Smart.
“Coach Kirby told me as soon as he got back in town from his trips to come see him,” Williams said. “So Georgia hit me up like two days ago to see what is going on now at Georgia. ‘Come down. Talk. Learn how they will build up the Georgia program.’ He (Smart) said there were going to be a lot of big-time (officials visits) and players there but wanted me there. That’s such a blessing, A really big blessing, man.”
This weekend’s event is mostly about 2016 prospects, but the 4-star athlete is the first junior prospect DawgNation has confirmed for the event. Peachtree Ridge 5-star DeAngelo Gibbs also has an invitation, but he’s not sure yet if he will attend.
Williams said current UGA defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt (reportedly on his way to Alabama) and running backs coach Thomas Brown have been the two coaches who have been recruiting him the hardest of late.
Williams, who is a native of Athens, Ga., is looking for big things from UGA’s new coaches.
“I want to see a dominant team,” said Williams, who is rated as the nation’s No. 5 athlete for 2017. “A team that can win the big games now.”
It is interesting to learn what the relationship was with like with Alabama. Smart was his lead recruiter at Alabama and the two had a relationship. That said, he didn’t have an offer from Alabama.
“I had a good relationship with Kirby but just the school Alabama wasn’t at the top of my list,” Williams said.
That’s surprising considering that, despite his size, Williams is without a doubt one of the finest high school cornerbacks in the nation regardless of grade level. He felt that’s because he hadn’t had the chance to interact with Alabama coach Nick Saban yet.
Williams said that Smart causes him to now look at Georgia in a different light.
“Because Kirby is a defensive coach,” Williams said. “He’ll put a lot of focus on that in practice. I know he will do that, but he will also put the focus on the offense. Kirby is a defensive guy, though. He knows his defense and he’ll help out. That will be big for Georgia.”
He said that UGA currently looks at his skill set and projects him to be a nickelback, a cornerback and a kick returner.
“I’m not worried about who will be his defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach,” Williams said. “I trust Kirby. I know he has a very wise defensive mind and I know the coaches he gets in those spots are going to be fantastic coaches because Kirby hired them for his first defense at Georgia.”
He’s dinged by recruiting analysts for his height, but that’s dubious considering the way he changes games. The 5-foot-9 prospect is a star in every sense of the term. He made a game-saving tackle against McEachern in the state playoffs and rarely left the field all year long.
Williams ran for more than 1,000 yards and 21 touchdowns this season at running back at Archer and was named the Touchdown Club of Gwinnett’s All-County Running Back of the Year on Thursday night.
“It is my first big-boy award,” Williams said. “That’s going to sit up really high on the mantle.”
It's an true blessing to be recognized as running back of the year ??? ?????? pic.twitter.com/ZaM52VLCMI
— Jamyest Williams (@Jamy0602) December 11, 2015
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.