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Debo Williams looks back on his football career in South Carolina

Linebacker from South Carolina Debo Williams appeared on Sunday, June 9, in an episode of the Welcome Home podcast.

Williams spoke on a variety of topics on the podcast, including the story of his journey to the University of South Carolina and how he hopes to make a lasting impression on the football program there. Here are some of the key points he mentioned in the interview.

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Question: Why did you decide to move to South Carolina?

Williams: “When I got the opportunity to come to South Carolina, I was like, 'Yeah, this is what I've been waiting for.' I was at the University of Delaware for three months. They canceled our season because of COVID. And I was like, 'Okay, I'm going to get as much footage as I can and then I'm going to transfer and go to a bigger school.' I went through that in high school. I went to a public school and didn't get the same love that those private school kids got. And I didn't want to go through that again. So I was like, 'Okay, I'm going to go to a bigger school so they can't say the people I'm playing aren't good enough.'

What was your best moment as a South Carolina player?

“It would definitely be the back-to-back weeks (in 2022) when we beat Tennessee and Clemson. When they (the USC students) came on the field against Tennessee and I couldn't even move because there were so many people on the field, it was crazy. And then the next week we beat Clemson, and we're on their field, and I still can't move. I planted the flag on their field, and all the (Clemson) players were mad and stuff. I didn't care. It (was) definitely the best feeling in the world, for sure.”

What did you learn as a team leader last season?

“We really have a 'put the ball down' mentality… Basically, that's the way life is. No matter how bad it gets, whatever happens, you have to keep going. You have to keep going every day. Whatever happens, it was the 'next play mentality' and just keep going. That was our biggest thing. And as leaders, we had to set the pace with that. We had to set the standard. We just executed that. Spencer (Rattler), whatever happened, whatever went wrong, he just stayed positive and was ready for the next play.”

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Why is loyalty to South Carolina so important to you given today's college sports landscape?

“I'll always choose South Carolina because, like I said, I wanted to be at a Power 5 school (and) didn't get the opportunity. (Shane) Beamer gave me a chance when he didn't have to, and he knows I would run through a wall for him. I would risk it all for him because he gave me the chance when nobody else would. So after that season, where I had a good season, there was never any doubt in my mind. I never thought about leaving South Carolina — either I was going to go to the NFL, God willing, or I was going to stay and continue my legacy in South Carolina.”

What legacy do you want to leave behind with the Gamecocks?

“I look at the walls of our facility and I'm standing up there with the All-Americans now. It's like Stephon Gilmore, Jadeveon Clowney and all those guys — I could bring my kids back here one day and they'd see me on the captain's wall. It's an honor to be up there with those guys. I looked up to those guys — and I still do. I've always said I want to be standing next to those guys, so it's just an honor to see it come to fruition.”

What does the next chapter of your football career look like for you?

“The next level is a great opportunity, God willing. I've been trying to keep my head straight and just focus on this season right now. Anything can happen. Football can be over for me just like that. In this sport, you never know what can happen, so I'm literally working every day to perfect my craft. I'm doing Pilates now. I'm trying to do what I need to do to just be the best I can be. When the NFL calls, it'll be time for that. But right now, I'm just trying to dominate as best I can for the University of South Carolina.”

Anna Harden

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