The high school football season is underway around the state of South Carolina.
Each week, The State will feature a question-and-answer segment with a prominent high school football player or coach in the Midlands along with this week’s schedule and the top games to watch.
This week, we talked with Richland Northeast quarterback and North Carolina State commitment Will Wilson.
The junior carried it 16 times for 279 yards and five touchdowns, and threw for 69 yards and a TD in the 44-43 win over Keenan last week. RNE is off this week and takes on Spring Valley next week.
Lou Bezjak: What has it been like since you committed to N.C. State in the summer?
Will Wilson: “I talk to head coach Dave Doeren all the time. We have a great relationship and I love it up there in Raleigh. I love the culture. The relationship I got with (QBs) coach (Kurt) Roper and coach Doeren has been pretty special.”
LB: How important was it to make the decision early?
WW: “It was just like when you know, you know. When you’ve got that feeling, it is the biggest thing. I knew things when they played out, it was time to go do it and not delay it any longer.”
LB: Coming from a football family and your dad being a coach, what are some of your earliest football memories?
WW: “Being at South Carolina and going to watch Alshon Jeffery play in the coach (Steve) Spurrier era. Those were some of my first memories.” (Jeffery played for Will’s father Walt at Calhoun County before USC.)
LB: How close were you to Alshon and did he give any advice as you got older?
WW: “He’s like a big brother to me. I look up to him. He has been at the highest level and won a Super Bowl. That’s the ultimate goal. I want to get there and I will get there one day. When I was in Philadelphia when he was playing there, probably my sixth grade year, he is like, ‘You are going to want to wear No. 1.” At the time, I was wearing No. 7 like my brother. So, I started wearing No. 1.”
LB: How would you describe your game?
WW: “I’m a dynamic guy. I could beat you in the air with my arm. I could put the ball where I wanted to. I could beat you with my feet. I’m not limited. I am going to everything in my power for my team to win. I have no limitations.”
LB: Who are some quarterbacks you look up to?
WW: “Deshaun Watson, he’s my guy. That’s my No. 1 guy. I love his game. But there are a bunch. Houston Texans quarterback CJ Stroud. He is so inspirational. My other quarterbacks are Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow. Burrow is so smooth, and I love Jalen Hurts.”
LB: What I’d your favorite pre-game ritual?
WW: “I come on the field, be to myself and stand on the logo. I look at my jersey, see my last name and who I do it for. I play for my family. I look at the Northeast on my chest and play for my school. When you lose sight of who you are playing for, the fun is lost. After that I start getting focused and get locked in to get ready for the game.”
LB: What is your favorite music to get you ready?
WW: “To get me going, I probably listen to some YoungBoy.”
LB: What’s your favorite movie?
WW: “Probably the “Fast and the Furious” series. The series kind of went down after Paul Walker died, but I love that series.”
20230831_194623.jpgRichland Northeast quarterback and North Carolina State commit Will Wilson sits on the bench during a game against Keenan on Aug. 31, 2023.
Five must-see games this week
Brookland-Cayce (2-0) at A.C. Flora (1-1): A.C. Flora has won five straight in the series, including 72-43 last year. Flora is No. 9 in Class 4A and B-C No. 9 in 3A. Both teams had a bye last week. B-C looking for its first 3-0 start since 2016. B-C running back DeShaun Washington leads team with 254 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
Camden (2-1) at Gray Collegiate (3-0): Gray leads the all-time series, 2-0, including last year’s 22-7 win. Camden is No. 7 in 3A and Gray is No. 2 in 2A. The game might be one of few regular season games left for Gray with Region 4-2A teams unlikely to play the War Eagles. RB BJ Montgomery leads Gray with 474 yards rushing and nine total TDs. WR Jamarious Lockett leads the War Eagles with 14 catches for 403 yards and seven touchdowns. Camden QB Grayson White has thrown for 782 yards and 10 total TDs. Jaquarius Myrant leads the Bulldogs with 18 catches for 298 yards and two touchdowns. Wilson Nash leads Camden with 36 tackles and Shiver Huggins has three sacks.
Hammond_Gray Collegiate013.JPGBJ Montgomery (1) of Gray Collegiate takes a handoff from John Tyler Waller (10) during Hammond’s game against visiting Grey Collegiate on Friday, September 1, 2023.
Chapin (2-1) at Newberry (1-1): Newberry leads the all-time series, 18-9, but Chapin has won three of the last four including 38-0 last year. Chapin quarterback Brady Albro has thrown for 582 yards and nine touchdowns. Maddox Floyd leads the team with three touchdown catches. Xavier Williams leads the Eagles with 15 tackles and four sacks. Newberry quarterback Bryce Satterwhite has thrown for 436 yards and six touchdowns. Jamel Howse leads the Bulldogs with eight catches for 214 yards and four touchdowns. Jared Acosta leads Newberry with 29 tackles and Kenton Caldwell has two interceptions.
Lexington (3-0) at Blythewood (2-1): Lexington leads the all-time series, 8-3, including 35-14 last season. The Wildcats are ranked No. 4 in Class 5A and looking for their first 4-0 start since 2011. Wildcat running backs Torie Jones, Cam Morris and quarterback Taiden Mines lead the team with three touchdowns each. Lexington is averaging 230 yards rushing a game. Montrell Byrd leads Lexington with 28 tackles and two sacks. Blythewood quarterback Harrison Collins has thrown for 771 yards and seven touchdowns this season. Zarion Williams leads the Bengals with four sacks.
Spring Valley (0-2) at Ridge View (2-1): Spring Valley leads the all-time series, 11-10, and has won four of the last six. Ridge View won last year, 27-0. Blazers QB Breylon Boyd has thrown for 681 yards and 13 total touchdowns. Jordon Gidron leads RV with 15 catches for 281 yards and five touchdowns. Myles Brown leads the Blazers with 29 tackles and three sacks. Spring Valley is looking to avoid its first 0-3 start since 2008.
This week’s game schedule
Airport at Lugoff-Elgin
Atlantic Collegiate at Cardinal Newman
Brookland-Cayce at AC Flora
CA Johnson at Hampton County
Camden at Gray Collegiate
Camden Military at Northside Christian
Chapin at Newberry
Dreher at West Florence
Emerald at Saluda
Gilbert at Pelion
Great Falls at Columbia
Hammond at Laurence Manning
Heathwood Hall at Porter-Gaud
Hilton Head Christian at Ben Lippen
Jefferson Davis at WW King
Lancaster at Fairfield Central
Lexington at Blythewood
Mid-Carolina at Ninety Six
North Central at Keenan
Pelion at Whitmire
Richard Winn at Newberry Academy
Rock Hill at Lower Richland
South Aiken at River Bluff
Spring Valley at Ridge View
Stratford at Dutch Fork
Swansea at Wagener-Salley
Westwood at White Knoll
September 7, 2023 | State, The: Web Edition Articles (Columbia, SC)
Author/Byline: Lou Bezjak, The State | Section: high_school