Sunshine State WR enjoys first trip to USC

Manatee High School wide receiver Eric Williams made his first trip to Columbia, SC for the Garnet and Black game Saturday and left impressed with what he saw from the Gamecocks. Read inside as Williams updates GamecockAnthem.com on his newest offers, his recruitment, and his trip to South Carolina.


The Gamecocks were one of the first schools to offer the Bradenton, Fla. native who now has offers from Clemson, Iowa, and South Florida, as well. The 5'11", 192 pound athlete hauled in 26 catches last season for around 430 yards, and Manatee Head Coach Joe Kinnan says he plans on getting the ball in Williams' hands more often next year.

Williams, who runs an electronically-timed 4.51 and sub-4.4 hand-timed forty yard dash, got the chance to meet his recruiter of record, USC quarterbacks coach David Reaves for the first time on the visit. Williams' first impressions of Reaves were positive.

"I think he's a good coach. He has to be if Spurrier has him on his coaching staff. Spurrier thinks he's a good coach, so I think Coach Reaves is a good coach. He's outgoing and he's straight up with you."

The speedy prep standout also liked what Reaves had to say about his chances to play early if he were to sign with South Carolina.

"It's a real big thing. Because, how he said it was, if you come in and practice hard no matter what, you'll get to play. That's big. I look up to that. Because as a freshman, if I come in and work hard, I could get to play."

Williams was surprised at the approximately 31,000 fans that made there way to Williams-Brice Stadium for the game.

"I loved the wild crowd, and it wasn't even a real game, it was a spring game. So, I know the regular season games will be more packed than that, but there were a lot of people for a spring game. I didn't expect there to be that many people."

Williams also got a first-hand look at the South Carolina offense while at the spring game.

"I liked their (offensive) philosophy because they were throwing the ball around, but they're a balanced team, too, so I really liked how they threw the ball around a lot."

While Williams' teammate, running back Ben Axon, did not make the trip with him to South Carolina, the two players still talk about possibly playing together. Axon also has offers from South Carolina, Clemson, and South Florida.

"That's what I think would be best for us. If we do play together, we'll know we can be roommates," Williams said. "We'll have that connection, and we'll already know each other besides going up there and not having anybody to know. We'll get to know players, I'm not saying that's bad, but we'll be on the same page."

According to Williams, he and Axon have taken most of their visits together, and plan to make a trip to South Carolina to take in a regular season game. Williams has also made trips to Florida, Florida State, and Florida, and plans to visit Clemson and Iowa, as well.

While Williams had a positive experience at South Carolina and says the Gamecocks are recruiting him the hardest, he does not claim a leader at this time.

"I'll make that decision by my senior year for the best place for me and my family."


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