For the second time in as many years, a star football player from Northwest Philadelphia has announced that he will play for a nationally respected program after high-school graduation.
On Friday night, Imhotep Institute Charter High’s star running back David Williams announced he would attend the University of South Carolina, to where he was recruited by Coach Steve Spurrier and staff.
This comes a year after Germantown High School’s Will Parks committed to the University of Arizona.
Williams, a top-tier talent recruited by dozens of top college-football programs, made the announcement in California, where he was playing in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
“Once I visited, I just loved it down there. I felt a great relationship with the coaches,” Williams told NewsWorks on Monday. “It’s a relief. Now I don’t have to worry about where I’m going next year anymore.
“It means a lot that I can learn from such great coaches. They told me there’s no way I’m redshirting [waiting a year for eligibility to play], that I’ll come in and compete for playing time immediately.”
As Williams’ announcement is a verbal committment, a team spokesman said he was unable to comment on it until after a formal decision on or after the Feb. 6 “signing day.”
One proud coach
Albie Crosby, the head coach of an Imhotep team that Williams helped lead to the state semifinals this season, said Williams picked South Carolina over several other school including Arizona State University.
“He always liked South Carolina, but his heart was going back and forth. It seems like he was destined to go there, though. And, Coach Spurrier is an icon,” said Crosby, noting that, at other schools on his list, coaches left or, in the case of Penn State, the programs faced sanctions.
Both Williams and Crosby noted that the stability of a head coach who would likely be in charge during his entire college career played a big role, as well.
Crosby added that having a running back from Philadelphia going to such a renowned college program “is huge for the city. It says a lot” for the quality of football talent here.
After transferring to Imhotep from West Catholic, Williams rushed for more than 1,900 yards and 23 touchdowns. He was considered one of the top 20 running backs in the country and the best in Pennsylvania.
The Gamecocks, the 10th ranked team in the country, finished the season with an 11-2 record after a 33-28 win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl.
According to the Gamecocks’ depth chart, the team’s top running back is a senior; the back-up currently a freshman.