Williams is third Grayson player to accept D-1 offer

UPDATED 4:25 P.M. . . .

Grayson linebacker Terry Williams has been arguably the most dominant force on one of the most dominant defenses in Class AAAAA. Yet when it came to recruiting, he waited and waited for a major scholarship offer to come.

Alas, an ACC or SEC team never came calling. But East Carolina did on Thursday and Williams happily pounced on the opportunity. Now the jumbo linebacker is eager to prove that all the others missed out on him.

“It was my first really big D-1 scholarship offer and it feels good to take it,” Williams said. “All I do is take all that stuff that people say and use it as motivation. I’m just going to continue to work hard and prove everybody wrong.”

The knock on Williams is his size. At 6-feet, 260-pounds, college recruiters were skeptical about him being able to play a stand-up position on the next level. East Carolina believes he can. The Pirates have a linebacker position they call the “Jack” they believe Williams is a perfect fit for.

“All I know he’s been a great linebacker for us for four years,” Grayson coach Mickey Conn said. “He’s got a nose for the football and he gets to wherever he needs to be on the field. Talk about stopping the run; I don’t know how anybody can do it any better. But he’s good in pass coverage, too. He had a nice interception just last week and has a bunch of pass break-ups.

Williams was recruited to East Carolina by former Redan High School head coach Steve Shankweiler and visited the Greenville, N.C., campus on Sept. 22. He had other Division I offers from Eastern Michigan, Kent State and Troy. He also lower-division offers from Georgia State, Georgia Southern, Samford and South Alabama.

Williams leads a Grayson defense that is giving up just 8 points a game and has recorded four shutouts with 60 tackles. He’s the third Rams defender to accept a Division I offer, joining defensive tackle Shawn Green (Georgia Tech) and safety Kori Gaines (BYU).

The Rams will likely end up with a fourth defensive player playing D-1 ball. Defensive end Joseph Champaign has several mid-level offers, including the military service academies and Marshall.

“Four Division I signees on one side of the ball, that doesn’t happen very often,” Conn said.

Georgia State gets more commitments

In other recruiting news this week, the fledgling Georgia State football program got its fourth and fifth commitments of the 2010 recruiting class. Joining the Panthers were Etowah tight end Joey Gilkey (6-2, 240) and defensive back Justin Hughes (5-9, 160) of Treasure Coast High in Port St. Lucie

36 comments Add your comment

Pirate Phil

October 22nd, 2009
4:17 pm

WooHOOO… Finally some ECU recruiting news :|


October 22nd, 2009
4:19 pm

East Carolina is getting a good one. He was all over the field in several games I’ve seen especially the Warner Robins game. He spent as much time in the Demon backfield as the Demon running backs.

Dawg Fan in Grayson

October 22nd, 2009
4:35 pm

TJ is a great player and an even better person. He comes from a great family and he will represent Grayson very well at ECU. Don’t see many 260lbs plus play LB in HS and he is one of the best.

4th place Dawg

October 22nd, 2009
7:13 pm

Georgia Tech is on the rise, Georgia is on the decline for the next several seasons. If you are a freshman or a verbal commit to UGA you will never play in a game at the Georgia Dome unless you turn pro.


October 22nd, 2009
7:28 pm

Georgia Tech should offer this kid. He should play DE in their 4-2-5 defense. If he is athletic enough to play DE at 260, he can rush the passer and stop the run. This is the type of player that Virginia Tech built their program on!

KimZ's Package

October 22nd, 2009
8:21 pm

We are trying to get Joey Gebo to Ga. State. 6-1 DB/WR from Apalachee High.


October 22nd, 2009
9:50 pm

Tech’s “rise” is a temporary bleep on the screen of time………….


October 23rd, 2009
12:16 am


Nice article on Williams at Grayson, but why didn’t you tell us about the 2 other players at Grayson who have already accepted scholarship offers from FBS (old Div. 1-A) schools since you make the point that Williams is the third player from Grayson (all on defense) to accept an FBS offer? Ironically, you then name a 4th player at Grayson who may get an FBS offer but still fail to mention the 2 players before Williams who have accepted FBS offers and where these prospects are going. Your article would have been much better had it been complete……..


October 23rd, 2009
6:58 am

DaddyDawg…………..did you not READ the article?


October 23rd, 2009
7:11 am

DaddyDawg….You must have been reading last weeks paper. This weeks paper says all the things that you wanted mentioned. WOW, how did that reading comprehension class work out for you?

Hey, JustaThought...

October 23rd, 2009
7:11 am

…Chip could have added that sentence that included the GT and BYU signee AFTER he read DaddyDawg’s comments late last night, and before you read this and commented this morning. Chip was probably up late searching the crime blotter to see which UGA players had been arrested so he could “report” that this morning when he stumbled across DD’s comment.


October 23rd, 2009
7:25 am

Congratulations to Etowah’s Joey Gilkey. You are a nice young man, who knows what he wants. You have decided to be one of the first at a new program, under a legendary coach. No one can ever take away from you the experience and education you have chosen. A great day for Georgis State and Joey Gilkey!


October 23rd, 2009
8:15 am

Williams leads a Grayson defense that is giving up just 8 points a game and has recorded four shutouts with 60 tackles. He’s the third Rams defender to accept a Division I offer, joining defensive tackle Shawn Green (Georgia Tech) and safety Kori Gaines (BYU).

DaddyDawg…… Did you miss this paragraph above? It was the seventh paragraph in the article! You must be one of those jawge grads. Time to change your handle so you dont look like an idiot.


October 23rd, 2009
8:17 am

CHIP….Who were Georgia State’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd commitments??


October 23rd, 2009
8:55 am


What do you care about Georgia Tech’s rise? They are an ACC school. Your problems are Florida, LSU, Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee, and if things keep going the way that they are in Athens that list will soon include schools like South Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas and Ole Miss as well. (I guess we can say that you don’t have anything to worry about from Mississippi State or Vanderbilt.) Georgia Tech and UGA run different systems on both sides of the ball, and they recruit different athletes from different talent pools. So, Georgia Tech’s success means absolutely nothing to Georgia and vice versa.

If anything, you should root for Georgia Tech to do well, to be in the mix for the ACC title every year. That would make the Georgia-Georgia Tech game more meaningful. Wouldn’t you like for Tech-UGA to be like FSU-Miami was in the 1980s or FSU-Florida was in the 1990s? Or at least like Georgia-Clemson was in the 80s? It would be great if the game could be an annual matchup of top 10 teams, get national media attention, and perhaps even get ESPN gameday to come down. Where would you rather see the attention go? Florida-FSU? South Carolina-Clemson? Auburn-Alabama? Ohio State-Michigan? Or whoever Oklahoma, Penn State, Nebraska, Texas or USC is playing that day?

After all, what did Mark Richt winning his first 8 games against Tech do for your program? It didn’t do a thing! All Richt has done was win a couple of SEC titles in down years for the conference, and beat some of the worst teams ever to play in a BCS game (a 9-5 FSU that didn’t even have their QB, they were forced to stick wide receiver Anquan Boldin under center, and the total fraud Hawai’i … the one year Richt played a real team in a BCS game they lost). So let this matchup between Georgia and Georgia Tech be of teams that win 9 or 10 games a year so that it will be meaningful to more people than UGA fans who resent Tech for having an engineering school and Tech fans who resent UGA for having everything else.

Coach Newman

October 23rd, 2009
9:07 am

What a great decision and commitment for Joey Gilkey Georgia States newest tight End commitment. I’ve watched this young man grow into one of the best underrated TE’s in the state. Coach Curry will be blessed with this player.


October 23rd, 2009
9:48 am

Great Job Joey, I know you will have a great and rewarding time. Good luck to you and your family. I can’t wait to see you play.

Chip Towers

October 23rd, 2009
9:51 am

DaddyDawg, JustaThought, Hey JustaThought: You are all correct. When I initially posted this news yesterday I had the info about Shawn Green and Kori Gaines included. Then after I spoke to Terry Williams and coach Mickey Conn I did what we call a “write-through,” which is basically a do-over. However, I left out the Green and Gaines info in the process, I assume in the middle of a cut-and-paste operation. Anyway, I realized the omission after checking the blog last night and reading DaddyDawg’s comments. So I simply added it back in.

Like I always say, this is truly an interactive forum. Thanks for being such observant participants.


October 23rd, 2009
10:51 am

ok daddy dawg you are off the hook this time.


October 23rd, 2009
10:52 am

Have you heard any news or of Florida A&M making offers to ATL area kids?

Chip Towers

October 23rd, 2009
11:12 am

Panther08: GSU’s first three commits were LB Blake James of Little Rock (Ark). Christian, L Sherrod Loud of Worth County and L Tyler Pitt of Telfair County. . . .

Marcus: Don’t know of anyone specific Florida A&M has offered. Please advise if you do. . . .

Gerald: You offer some long and detailed comments, my friend. I should retain you as my once-a-week guest blogger!


October 23rd, 2009
11:21 am

no news, just fishing. As an alum, I am kinda disapointed in the (historical) haul of my hometown talent down there, given we have played in or associated with the ATL Classic going on 2 decades. We have a good pipeline for the general student population from ATL, but football-wise, the flow of talent isn’t reflective of having a game in ATL for nearly 20 years (100 BM ATL Classic vs. Tennessee State) and the sheer no. of FAMU alums who live in ATL, including HS coaches and administrators.

FAMU homecoming this weekend, and local paper mentioned up to 50 recruits being on campus for the game. Hopefully some from ATL.


October 23rd, 2009
11:26 am

I would luv for FAMU to offer Grayson RB Ean Pemberton. He does not have the prototype stature for most FBS players at his position, but we could certainly use him, and our coach (Joe Taylor, 2nd year – formerly of Hampton Univ.) has had success with players of similar size (RB Montrell Coley in early 2000s).. and in either ‘06 or ‘07 (forget which) , he had 5 of his players from Hampton Univ. to get NFL Combine invites, most of any school that year.


October 23rd, 2009
11:31 am

Gerald…you can discount UGA’s wins over FSU and Hawaii if you want. But it says more about the BCS than it does UGA. It’s not like we picked our opponent. If and when the Jackets get a sniff of the BCS then maybe you will understand that. Until then, don’t try to discount those wins as seasons when the SEC was down. Because even in a down year, which this one seems to be, the SEC is STILL better than the ACC.

Hey, Marcus...

October 23rd, 2009
11:37 am

…I totally agree with you about the Pemberton kid – did you see the size of the running back N. AL was using last night, and I doubt he has anywhere near the speed or moves of Pemberton.

So, Chip, you admit you were up late last night perusing the crime blotters, huh!!!!

Coach Newman

October 23rd, 2009
11:45 am

Enter your comments here

PantherPride Alum

October 23rd, 2009
11:53 am

The Panther Pride welcomes Joey Gilkey from Etowah High to our new program we are excited to get a player of this caliber, he committed before offers started coming through which shows commitment to the GSU faithful Congrats Joey.

Lane Kiffin

October 23rd, 2009
12:13 pm



October 23rd, 2009
12:19 pm

He wanted to play for the DAWGS, but we didn’t offer, HA.


October 23rd, 2009
1:20 pm

Chip: Justin Hughes originally gave a verbal to Troy according to Scout.com. Did he change his mind?

Eagles Nest

October 23rd, 2009
1:43 pm

Go Joey, Beat Bama!!! Good luck at GSU we are proud of you. Good luck tonight.


October 24th, 2009
8:28 pm

ECU is no slouch, with old Skip Holtz running the show they where decent a few years ago..

Check out the 2010 video recruiting Rankings: http://collegefootballrecruitingvideos.blogspot.com/

Also check out the 2010 NFL Draft Rankings:

Graysonfan (the original)

October 25th, 2009
10:45 am

Grayson has had the best line and back coaches the past three years that money can buy! On the other hand who ever keeps the stats for the team keeps them the way they want or are told. There are many numbers that are incorrect on the books and if your looking for it film will prove it. Very sad for some Ram players! Recruiters beware, go for what you see on the field not the books!


October 26th, 2009
8:11 am

Why spread nasty unsubstantiated rumors here Graysonfan? From a trusted friend information I know how stats for Grayson are done. There is a spotter and a guy typing it in on laptop realtime. Stats are checked against game film then sent to everyone. Save the sour grapes, never use Graysonfan name again.

Terry Williams hits like a Mack truck. Grayson will miss him next year.

Ean Pemberton, he needs to be picked up by somebody. He elevates the whole teams play.

ATL_Football Fan

October 26th, 2009
9:27 am

Chip with the addition of Joey Gilkey the TE from Georgia and the DB Justin Hughes from Florida last week taking it to 5 for the 2010 recruiting class so far, what does this do for the scholarship count that GSU is looking to fill going into the 2010 recruiting class? Is Coach Curry bringing in JUCO players to bring experience to the Panthers and with the current 71 or so players on the roster how many are transfers and how many are walk ons?
Go Panthers…….


October 28th, 2009
5:32 pm

…with Peachtree Ridge? Why don’t any of their players ever seem to be getting press about their offers? One of the coaches mentioned to me that a few of the players (other than the ones always mentioned) have received good offers, but nothing is ever said about them. Who informs the press? The high school? The coach? The player? The recruiting school? I’m just curious…