Gerald Willis to Florida: Gators Land 5-Star DE Prospect

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2014

The Florida Gators have landed coveted 5-star defensive end prospect Gerald Willis.

Thomas Goldkamp of 247Sports passes along the news:

Willis is listed as the second-best player at his position in the Class of 2014 and the No. 21 overall recruit in the nation, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. He's the fifth-best prospect coming out of Louisiana this year. 

After excelling in high school for Edna Karr in New Orleans, Willis received offers from Florida, Texas A&M, Alabama and Arkansas, among others, with the Tigers the expected favorite to land his commitment. Ultimately, he felt Florida was the best fit. 

A 6'3", 275-pound stud, Willis demonstrates plenty of versatility up front on the defensive line. He is probably best suited as a strong-side defensive end, but it wouldn't be that surprising if his college coaches played him some at defensive tackle.

Willis boasts tremendous strength and athleticism. His huge senior season helped lead Edna Karr High School to the Louisiana Class 4A state championship.

The rough-and-tumble Southeastern Conference will surely test Willis in the coming years, however. It's no secret that many of the best athletes in college football reside in the SEC, so Willis will be expected to help make a difference from the get-go.

Either way, Willis has a bright future ahead. He possesses all of the physical attributes necessary to be a dominant pass-rusher at the college level, and he'll be playing on a stage where he's sure to gain notice.

As long as Willis remains focused, stays on track and gets stronger and quicker, he's no doubt headed for stardom.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter

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