Gamecocks chasing explosive Sunshine State WR

Manatee HS (Bradenton, FL) wide receiver Eric Williams has flown under the proverbial recruiting radar up to this point, but that hasn't stopped David Reaves and South Carolina from coming forward with an official offer. Read inside as Williams and Manatee head coach Joe Kinnan talk about Williams' recruitment.


The 5'11", 192 pound playmaker has just begun receiving interest from other schools around the southeast and also has a Clemson offer while Louisville is very close to coming forward with one, as well. According to his coach, Williams displayed his raw speed at a recent Nike camp when he ran a laser-timed 4.51 forty-yard dash in the rain, on grass. Williams is quick to point out that hand-timed it was in the 4.3's.

Coach Kinnan had nothing but good things to say about his talented receiver.

"He's a punt returner, kickoff return guy. We didn't do really as good a job as we probably should have last year getting his hands on the ball," Kinnan said. "He's got outstanding hands. (He's) a really good perimeter blocker (and) physically tough guy. Both of them (William and teammate Ben Axon) are good character kids."

The speedy receiver had 26 catches for around 430 yards last season, and Kinnan says he plans on making Williams a bigger part of the Manatee offense this season. The rising senior receiver says he brings a balanced overall skill-set to his position.

"I'm a complete receiver. I can block downfield for the running back. I can catch the ball when my team needs a big play," Williams said.

Williams, who has yet to take any unofficial visits, says he is planning a South Carolina visit soon. He says he talks to his recruiter David Reaves on the phone fairly often.

"He's a good guy. When I call him he just tells me to stay on top of my grades. He seems like a very good guy. He tells me a lot about the program. He tells me ‘it's more about education than football, so get your education before you worry about football.'"

The chance to play receiver in Steve Spurrier's receiver-friendly offense is also a big draw for Williams.

"When he was at Florida he was always a balanced coach so he wants to get the ball to his playmakers. He's going to let the running backs touch the ball (and) the receivers, too. He's going to hand the ball out."

According to Williams, he grew up pulling for Florida State, but he thinks he has a better chance of receiving an offer from Florida than Florida State.

Williams broke down what he likes about each of the two schools he is most interested in early on.

South Carolina: "Steve Spurrier, because he has a history and background where he is known for winning football games."

Florida State: "The same for Florida State, too, because I grew up watching them. I have certain players from around this area that went to that school so basically they would be in top consideration, too."

Manatee HS is also home to highly-recruited running back Ben Axon, who has an offer from South Carolina as well. Williams says there is a chance they could play together at the next level.

"We're close friends. We keep in touch with each other everyday," Williams said. "We talked about (playing together). We talk about it a lot. I think we can. I hope we can."

Despite speaking highly of South Carolina, Williams says he is not ready to name a leader and wants to see what offers he picks up during his senior year.

The explosive athlete says he plans to wait until National Signing Day to make a commitment.


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