Linebacker turns attention to upcoming season after helping bolster class of 2014
If you were a football prospect graduating from high school in2014 and you were on South Carolina’s radar, chances are you had a tweet in your mentions from @B_Quatro4.
That’s the twitter handle for freshman linebacker and four-star recruit Bryson Allen-Williams who, after committing to play for the Gamecocks in April, took to social media in order to convince his classmates to follow him to Columbia.
“Twitter is a way to connect to people,” he said. “It just helped me out a lot to get in touch with guys that are 600 miles, you know, so far away without having to write a letter or type an e-mail. I can just talk to them over twitter.”
The range social media provided played no small part in recruiting efforts for the Ellenwood, Georgia native. Out of the Gamecocks’ 10 four-star recruits from the class of 2014, six were from out of state. And of those six, five hail from Allen-Williams’ home state, Georgia.
Before signing with South Carolina, Allen-Williams was able to stave off late pushes from Georgia and Clemson to acquire his services, which proved to set an example for the rest of his classmates.
Among the Gamecocks’ 20-man recruiting class, Clemson made the final list of 10 players and Georgia was considered by six.
“It helps in just trying to make guys feel comfortable and really just being truthful with the guys,” redshirt sophomore linebacker T.J. Holloman said. “I think that just attracts more people, hearing it from players instead of hearing it from coaches.”
With the opener against Texas A&M just a week away, recruiting season has died down and given way to the real game on the field. But that hasn’t stopped Allen-Williams from being his normal active self on Twitter, posting pictures of his new No. 4 jersey and tweeting out his daily Libra horoscope.
Allen-Williams has also used the website to get to know the new teammates that he will line up next to for at least the next three years. Starting June 5, he linebacker has interacted with all but three of South Carolina’s incoming recruits that are on Twitter.
The majority of the Gamecock football team is active on some form of social media, be it Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. And while Holloman said there are no restrictions placed on players’ social media use, they are urged to use common sense.
“[The Coaches] just said don’t do negative criticism. Don’t get negative publicity. Don’t tell anybody about anybody’s personal life,” Holloman said. “Just keep it positive.”
Positivity is a rare trait found on social media when it comes to college football these days. Earlier this month, the Florida State athletics department opened the floor to fans with the hashtag “AskJameis.”
However, only a handful of fans took the opportunity to ask about sophomore quarterback Jameis Winston’s on-field progress, while the vast majority of tweeters duked it out to see who could make fun of the Heisman winner in the most creative way.
To the dismay of many South Carolina fans, the freshman linebacker says he won’t be as involved in recruiting now that he’s opened up his first camp with the Gamecocks. As he battles it out in fall camp for one of the several vacant starting positions on coordinator Lorenzo Ward’s defense, he’ll turn his attention to X’s and O’s instead of hashtags.
“I’m just focusing on this team right now,and being able to help the team this year,” Allen-Williams said. “There’s other guys in the 2015 class that I’ve passed down the torch to.”
However, the new batch of Gamecocks slated to join the team in 2015 shouldn’t need much work. South Carolina has racked up one of the best classes in the nation, sitting at No. 3 in Rivals.com’s recruiting rankings with 13 four-star commits and 14 three-star players set to wear garnet and black in a year’s time.
“I’m going to let those guys do their thing,” Allen-Williams said, “while we do our thing out there on the field.”