Beating Kentucky a driving force in Allen-Williams return to Gamecocks

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Returning for a fifth year was never in doubt for University of South Carolina linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams after being forced to miss most of the 2017 football season following shoulder surgery.

The reason? Kentucky.

I knew I was coming back,” said Allen-Williams. “I couldn’t leave the way I left without beating Kentucky. We didn’t beat Kentucky. That’s one reason, just that game alone. I actually got injured in that game. I got injured on the 10th play on defense.”

Despite suffering injury early in the game, Allen-Williams powered through, remaining until the end of the encounter.

“Playing in that whole game, then going to get those tests and stuff – knowing I could get the opportunity to come back, with all we have coming back this year, I knew we have an opportunity to do something special. Just coming back was always in my mind.”
USC never defeated the Wildcats during Allen-Williams’ four-year stint with the Gamecocks.

“My mindset when (the injury) happened, it was kind of surreal,” he said. “Having your shoulder pop out, in football you just kind of pop it back in. As I kept playing, it just kept popping out so I knew something was wrong.”

Allen-Williams had a rehab partner as wide receiver Deebo Samuel was knocked out for the season with an ankle injury in the same game.
He spent much of his time with Samuel convincing him to return for the 2018 season. As it turned out, it didn’t take much.

“We had a lot of conversations,” said Allen-Williams. “After the game, after surgery, I knew I was coming back. Talking to Deebo, we talked about the things we could possibly do for this program.

“When we came in, we said we wanted to win the first SEC Championship. Coming back with another guy like that, we know we definitely have the potential. We just have to continue to work.”

Although Allen-Williams will not participate in contact work during spring practice, he is on the field every day. He is slated to play the BUCK position despite admitting defensive coordinator Travaris Robertson and coach Will Muschamp may choose to put him in multiple positions as has been done in the past.

“Right now, I’m primarily with the BUCKs,” said Allen-Williams. “But, with coach T-Rob and coach Muschamp, who knows? This time last year I was playing straight WILL so who knows?”