Steve Spurrier Jr. spent a great deal of time in Jacksonville over the spring, and Tramell Williams is a gem he came up with in his travels.
The proximity of Columbia, SC to Williams' home and the SEC tradition caught his attention, but it was the combination of Spurrier's recruiting and the thought of learning under offensive line coach Eric Wolford that sealed the deal for Williams to commit to the Gamecocks.
“It is close to home,” Williams said when talking about why he made the decision. “It is a top notch education, and playing in the SEC under Coach Spurrier, you can't beat that anywhere. I think the direction this team is headed in is awesome. Being around the facilities and all the new building projects... this school and city believes in this team, and I honestly don't believe they would put all the millions into it like they are doing if there wasn't a lot of faith in what is going on.
“I just walked around and toured around with Coach Wolford and Coach Spurrier (on Tuesday). Spending all day with Coach Spurrier and Coach Wolford, (they) answered a lot of questions that made a lot of sense to me.”
Williams passed up some other great offers to be a Gamecock. South Carolina beat out Illinois, Vanderbilt, Indiana, Southern Miss, and Maryland.
“Illinois has a wonderful coaching staff,” Williams said. “I just feel that my chances of getting on the field are a lot better at South Carolina, and you can't beat the SEC at all. Coach (Dan) Disch and Coach (Ron) Zook are wonderful coaches and cool down to earth people. In the end I have to do what is best for me.”
“At Southern Miss, Travaris Robinson is an outstanding coach,” he said. “He is the kind of guy I can call up and talk with about anything at any time of night. He's a good friend."
“Vanderbilt was the first team to offer,” he noted. “Charles Fisher is a really cool coach. They offer an incredible education that can't be beat, but as far as on the field, South Carolina stood on top."
For Williams, his father, uncle, and Lee HS Head Coach Myrick Anderson were the biggest influences on his decision to be a Gamecock. On Tuesday, Williams tripped to Columbia to visit the campus along with his family.
“My dad and uncle were with me on the South Carolina trip, and they were blown away as well as I was with what we saw,” he said. “It was all incredible. We sat there and talked to Coach Wolford face to face. We talked a lot about things with him that most coaches wouldn't (talk about) instead of just things we wanted to hear.
“Coach Wolford was breaking down the depth chart with me for the next few years. I know what is going on and that I will have to come in and work for everything."
Williams high school coach has a special relationship with the Gamecocks. Anderson played football under Steve Spurrier during Florida's big run to all those championships in the 90's. According to Williams, Anderson knew his old coach and what he has to offer was going to be too much for Williams to turn away.
“The day that Coach Spurrier (Jr.) offered me, (Anderson) was the first person to tell me he could see me playing in the SEC,” Williams smiled. “He knew in his heart that I would commit. At the end of the day I am here and committed to South Carolina. Afterward he said, 'I told you so'.”
Williams talked about what it is the Gamecock coaches saw in the way he plays and how he will fit in with others being recruited by South Carolina.
“They love my speed, my agility, and my determination,” he said about the Gamecock staff. “They like my attitude when I play. They know I will get the job done any way possible. I am slotted at both guard or center.
“Right now they have two of the top centers in the country in A.J. Cann and me. Coach (Wolford) made it very clear it doesn't matter who he has on the table, never worry about the next man. He really wants me to be a Gamecock at the end of the day.
“A.J. and I are texting now. He is excited too. Both of us on the same line... I think we can do some great things. We are both real athletic and quick. We will get the job done.”
Finally, Williams finished on a note of what the Gamecock faithful can look forward to when he arrives on campus.
“I'm a cat that is going to do what it takes to help the team win an SEC Championship,” he said matter of fact like. “Hopefully we will get to the big dance, and hopefully get to a big bowl game.”
The 6-3, 270 pound Williams becomes South Carolina's 11th commitment in the 2010 class. He is ranked as the No. 11 center in the country on Scout.com.
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