Jan 2, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Team Highlight defensive lineman Gerald Willis III (90) during the first half at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

100 Days of Florida Football: No. 92 Gerald Willis III


To say Gerald Willis III had an interesting moment when he committed to Florida would be an understatement. The four-star defensive lineman from New Orleans decided to commit to the Gators at the Under Armor All-America game and his mother did not approve. Two years ago his brother, Landon Collins, committed to Alabama at the same venue, much to April Justin’s chagrin. Recruiting nowadays is as much about the mother as it is about the recruit. And to see one mother’s sons choose major college football programs over her favorite team, LSU, is very interesting indeed. Willis chose to attend UF that day over his mother’s choice and enrolled shortly after. Check out the video of Willis’ commitment:

The 6-3 275 pounder comes to Florida as an incredibly athletic and versatile defensive lineman. Willis’ play will remind you of Dominique Easley or Jonathan Bullard. He forces enough pressure to be effective inside or out and has that nasty streak in him that makes pass rushers potent. Willis plays through the whistle and is tenacious. Enrolling early only improves his chances to become a factor in Will Muschamp and Brad Lawing’s defensive line rotation. He was a four- or five-star recruit, depending on the recruiting service, including a four-star rating according to the 247 Sports Composite Rankings. He’s ranked as the second-best defensive tackle, fifth-best in Louisiana, and the 34th player overall.

He was incredibly productive during his career at Edna Karr High School in New Orleans. Over his four-year career, Willis tallied 289 tackles, including 62 tackles-for-loss, 36 sacks, one interception, and a defensive touchdown. As the All-Metro and Class 9-4A Defensive Player of the Year in both his junior and senior seasons, Willis put up monster numbers. He had 141 tackles with 28 TFL and 15 sacks his Second Team All-American junior campaign and followed it up with a 107 tackle, 43 tackle-for-loss, and 15 sack performance his senior year. Willis was awarded First-Team All-USA by USA Today and MaxPreps Second Team All-American honors following his final season. Maybe the most impressive part of Willis high school career? He’s a winner as he went to four straight state championship games and won four-consecutive district titles. Take a look at his highlights from his junior season:

Look for Willis to come in this fall and contribute early and often. It should be exciting to see him play and with only 92 days left until the Gators take the field, the time is getting closer and closer. You can follow him @BNC_GEE .

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