SWANSEA, S.C. — Swansea High School linebacker Greg Williams grew up in a family divided between Clemson and South Carolina fans.
So when the class of 2019 prospect committed to Clemson in June, one side of the family was especially happy, including his father.
“You’ve got half of the family that wants South Carolina, and half of the family wants Clemson,” Williams told The Clemson Insider on Thursday during our Tour of Champions visit to Swansea High. “But Clemson stood out more to us. They were talking to us more, and my dad is a big-time Clemson fan, too. So he was on me about the pressure, about making sure I made the right decision, but he still wanted me to go to Clemson.”
While Clemson won out, Williams says the South Carolina side of his family is still supportive of him and his college choice. That doesn’t mean they are Tiger fans yet, though Williams is working to convert them.
“They’re always going to be proud of me and support me, so they were all for me going there, especially what position I’m in and where Clemson is at,” Williams said. “They know they have a great education program. So the people we know who like South Carolina, they were also focused on my education program as well.”
“I’m going to get them in orange soon,” he added with a smile.
Williams (6-4, 235) received an offer from Clemson on June 8, two days after impressing with his performance at the Dabo Swinney Camp. He then returned to Clemson with his dad for an unofficial visit the following week, before committing to the Tigers one week after that.
According to Williams, there are several reasons why the Tigers separated themselves from the other schools involved in his recruitment.
“Clemson stood out more than everybody because you could tell they really wanted me,” he said. “Clemson has always, to me when I was growing up, been a big-time school to me. For them to build their program around coach Swinney and coach (Brent) Venables, it’s a lot.”
The love Williams was shown by both Venables and Swinney played a big part in his decision to be a Tiger.
“When I went on the visit, I got to talk to him, and he was letting me know that they would love to have me there and they said I could be a big part to the team,” Williams said of Swinney. “Hearing that from him as one of the great coaches, that meant a lot to me. I could tell in his eyes and in coach Venables’ eyes that they really wanted me there and I could be a big help, and I feel like they could better me and mold me into a better player than I am.”
Williams was one of the leading tacklers in the Midlands last season when he tallied 103 stops as a junior. He is ranked as a top-10 prospect in the state of South Carolina per the 247Sports Composite rankings.
He is one of four linebacker commits in Clemson’s 2019 class along with Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab’s Bryton Constantin, Malvern (Pa.) Prep’s Keith Maguire and Birmingham (Ala.) Jackson-Olin’s LaVonta Bentley.