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Debo Williams set to hold youth football camp in SC, looks ahead to 2024 season

UVA BIO PICby:Mike Uva06/20/24


South Carolina LB Debo Williams looks ahead to 2024 season

Since arriving at South Carolina ahead of the 2021 season, the Midlands has been a second home for redshirt senior linebacker Debo Williams. A place that this weekend he’ll be giving back to with his inaugural Debo Williams youth football camp.

“It’s very special… just to be able to bring a camp out here to South Carolina it’s a blessing,” said Williams. “I’m hoping that it’ll go great, which I know it will go for sure.”

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The camp will take place this Saturday, June 22, at White Knoll High School from 8:30 a.m.-noon. Williams will be joined by several of his Gamecock teammates including Tonka Hemingway and LaNorris Sellers.

“You’re gonna learn from great players. I wish when I was (growing up) in Delaware I had guys that were doing their own camps. I wish would’ve been able to go to their camps but we didn’t really have anyone doing that. I want to do them in Delaware and South Carolina and God willing I go to the next level, I want to be able to create a fanbase so I can do (a camp) there too.”

Summer workouts

With less than a month-and-a-half until fall camp, South Carolina is currently in week four of their summer workout program. Williams shared that while those workouts have always been difficult since he transferred to USC, he’s been putting in extra work.

“I’ve always done two-a-days to try to get ahead. We’ll have our workouts in the morning and whatever we don’t do that day I’ll try and do the opposite (later in the day) to get that work in. It’s tough but we’ve been doing a lot of team bonding too. It’s been a big thing for us to bring everybody together. But that (Columbia) heat is no joke. That’s for sure.”

Previewing the linebacker room

Williams has high expectations for South Carolina’s linebacker room. A room that was completely flipped following the 2023 season.

“Not even the top in the SEC but the top linebacking core in the nation,” said Williams of what he believes USC’s linebackers are capable of doing this season. “We’ve got my boy Bangally (Kamara) who just came in from Pitt. My boy (Demetrius) Knight who just came in from Charlotte. They’re dogs, man. They bring competition to the room and I love it.”

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Last season, Kamara and Knight combined for 151 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks. While that experience and playmaking ability excites Williams, he’s also been pleased with the returners as well.

Mo Kaba, my boy Ronnie Porter, Jamian Risher Jr., we’ve got guys. My guy Colin Bryant and me and Bam (Martin-Scott) are still here. I can’t wait to see it but we push each other each and every single day. As far as the mentality, I’ve been going at it for years and years. When I first got here, when the running back got the ball, I was trying to kill him and run through him. People looked at me like I was crazy. I stand on that and I still do. (Now) the defense has been taking over with (that same mentality). Everybody is starting to grasp to it, especially the linebackers.”

Personal expectations

Coming off a season in which he was named First-Team All-SEC by multiple media publications, Williams admitted that his success isn’t what he’s focused on this season.

“I came back this year simply for one thing: it’s a legacy year. That has nothing to do with individual stats. I felt individual wise I did all I could do last season. I got All-SEC, that’s what I wanted to do. I had a 100 tackle season, that’s what I wanted to do. I also wanted to win. We didn’t complete that goal. We didn’t win enough. So this year, even more than what it was last year, is all about winning.

“I could careless about the individual stats. I’m trying to win. I’m trying to go out as one of the best linebackers to have ever played for the University of South Carolina. I want to go out like the guys that were here back in 2011, 2012. You want to know why they’re remembered so much? Because they won. We need to win. That’s what I’m here to do so I can to finish off this legacy at the University of South Carolina.”

Wing eating contest prediction

Competition won’t only be high on the field Saturday at Williams’ camp. Over at CB18 Bar and Grill in Five Points a handful of Gamecock student-athletes will be competing in a wing eating contest. The event, which will benefit the Garnet Trust, will feature South Carolina football players Vershon Lee, TJ Sanders, Nick Barrett, and Jakai Moore. Lee returns as the reigning champ. Additionally, Gamecock men’s basketball’s own Collin Murray-Boyle, Nick Pringle, and Zachary Davis will also be competing.

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“No offense to the basketball guys but I think you might want to just sit this one out,” Williams said with a smile. “I don’t know if you’re wide enough to finish this one. I know TJ will start out strong but I don’t think he’ll be able to finish it. I think Nick Barrett will give Vershon Lee a run for his money but I think Vershon is gonna hold off and be a two-time champion.”

The event, which is free to the public, will begin at 3 p.m. and will feature live music.

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