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