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South Carolina offers Kentucky QB commit Jarren Williams

Jim Dedmon/Icon Sportswire

2018 Quarterback jumps on SC’s radar

Since South Carolina brought in Will Muschamp as head coach, the defense-minded leader thinks a dual-threat quarterback would be very difficult to stop in the SEC, and following that notion the Gamecocks have taken an active approach in recruiting passers that fit Muschamp’s mold.

For the 2017 class, South Carolina has locked up the pledge of Jay Urich, a three-star quarterback from Greer (S.C.) Wren High School. Urich, a 6-foot-4 passer that is also known for his running ability, is solidly committed to South Carolina and provides a similar skill set to that of Gamecocks’ true freshman Brandon McIlwain.

Now that Muschamp has a clear preference at the quarterback position established and has a commit at the position in 2017, the team has now turned its efforts to finding a similar player in the 2018 cycle. Earlier this month, South Carolina extended an offer to Jarren Williams, a junior recruit from Lawrenceville (Ga.) Central Gwinnett who is currently committed to Kentucky.

Right now, Williams holds an offer from 11 schools, including Florida, Houston and Louisville. Each member of that trio employs a high-octane offense and covets the inclusion of a dual-threat quarterback to help spark the offense. South Carolina, too, values having a player that can keep a defense honest on the edges and make players miss in space, so the Gamecocks present a potentially attractive situation moving forward in that respect.

This past season, Williams has performed at a high level each step of the way, recording a 63-percent completion percentage with 2,460 yards, 26 touchdowns and only two interceptions. In addition to his aerial exploits, Williams rushed for 329 yards and seven touchdowns during his junior campaign.

When examining Williams’ Hudl tape, which can be found here, the Georgia prospect is a clear cut above his competition, which is no slouch in the Gwinnett area. Williams has good touch on his deep ball, the requisite arm strength to sling the ball over the field and keeps his eyes planted downfield even when the pocket collapses. As would be expected from a dual-threat player, Williams also has quick feet in the pocket and is economical of the space he is given. He also can be counted on to transfer his weight onto his front foot and drive the ball into tight windows when necessary.

Local RB could walk-on in 2017

After playing defense during his junior year, Gilbert (S.C.) athlete Catriez Cook is experiencing a great deal of success at running back. In fact, Cook has compiled well over 20 rushing touchdowns this season, and many nearby colleges have taken notice, including South Carolina.

According to Cook, the 2017 recruit has heard from Old Dominion, North Greenville, South Carolina and sports an early offer from Newberry.

“I’m talking to [Old Dominion to set up a visit soon,” Cook told Today’s U. “It’s just away from home. Around here everyone when they leave to go to a college further and I’m going to be one of those guys.”

Cook, who describes himself more of a “straight downhill runner,” picked up a preferred walk-on scholarship from the Gamecocks program after taking a visit to campus earlier this season.

“We went to Columbia on an unofficial visit,” Cook said. “Bobby Bentley was just like, they don’t have any scholarships left so he wanted to offer me as a walk on.”

And now that Cook has his PWO from South Carolina in hand, Cook has begun contemplating whether he will take South Carolina up on their offer. Cook discussed how it compares to a full ride scholarship from a smaller school, like Nerberry.

“It’s pretty high considering it’s a Division-I school,” Cook said. “If that’s the best I can get, then I might take it.”

Gamecocks’ coach Bobby Bentley is the chief recruiter for Cook, and the two have a fairly solid rapport at this stage in the cycle.

“We talk all the time,” Cook said. “He’s a good guy. I love him and I love what he’s doing with the running backs up there.”

Cook said he is waiting until after his senior season is over to announce his decision, which will also allow for additional schools to enter his recruitment at the last second. Cook is a physical runner that excels between the tackles at 6-foot-2 and 220-pounds, so he clearly already has the size that Division-I programs covet.

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