Scouting Report, Video Highlights and Predictions for 5-Star DT Gerald Willis

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IAugust 20, 2013

Scouting Report, Video Highlights and Predictions for 5-Star DT Gerald Willis

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    Gerald Willis has been one of the best defensive linemen in the country for several seasons. He has outstanding talent, but could be even better in college.

    Programs from all parts of the country want to sign Willis. He is the kind of player who could anchor a defensive line for several seasons. His strengths far outweigh his weaknesses. The 5-star recruit is a proven winner

    Willis' talent, potential and accomplishments warrant a more in-depth look. 

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals247Sports and ESPNU.

Who Is Gerald Willis?

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    Willis is an elite defensive lineman who plays for Edna Karr High School in New Orleans. Over the past two seasons, he has 148 tackles, 21 sacks and an interception.

    Willis, who is the brother of Alabama safety Landon Collins, was an All-State player as a junior in Louisiana, winning the Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year award.

    He was also selected as the Metro Defensive Player of the Year, which led to him being invited to play in the 2014 Under Armour All-American game.

    Willis is ranked 16th in the Scout 300, 28th in the 247Sports composite rankings, 29th in the ESPNU 150 and 53rd in the Rivals 250

    He is expected to sign with LSU, according to many of the experts at 247Sports

Gerald Willis' Scouting Report: Strengths

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    Willis has played defensive end for most of his career, but he shows the ideal skill set of a 3-technique defensive tackle. He has great explosiveness at the snap, as he can jump on top of blockers and penetrate gaps.

    Willis, who is 6'3" and 275 pounds, is a tough player who does not play small. He has good strength to challenge blockers in the trenches and can hit with force.

    His athleticism is showcased when he quickly redirects to pursue the ball. Willis' explosiveness and penetration ability are evidenced by his 34 tackles for loss since 2011.

    He can convert speed to power as he rushes the quarterback, shows a solid burst to finish plays and competes his hardest in critical situations.

Gerald Willis' Scouting Report: Weaknesses

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    Willis must develop a better pass-rush plan and arsenal of moves. He has quick hands but needs to learn how to use his mitts as weapons.

    He has problems separating from blockers due to not using his hands to shed. He also can get lazy and play too high at times, which will cause him to get pushed around by stronger offensive linemen in college.

Gerald Willis' Full Ride Highlights

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    This is a highlight reel of Willis via Bleacher Report's Full Ride video series. He is shown playing defensive end on several plays in this clip.

    Willis makes several solid plays; however, it's evident by looking at his movement skills that he will become a defensive tackle at the next level. 

Gerald Willis' Junior Season Highlights vs. St. Augustine High School

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    This is a 2012 highlight clip of Willis' night versus St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, which is home to 5-star running back Leonard Fournette.

    Willis' awareness and instincts are displayed on several plays on this clip. At 1:05, he quickly sees Fournette releasing laterally on a flare route and forces the quarterback to look elsewhere.


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    Although he plays defensive end for Edna Karr, Willis is going to kick inside in college. He could be a strong-side end depending on the defensive scheme, but his athleticism and skills are better suited for the 3-technique position.

    Although his brother, Landon Collins, plays for Alabama, it would be surprising if Willis did not sign with LSU. He may not be ready to contribute immediately, but he will be a solid starting defensive tackle in college.

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

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    Willis is No. 28 on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map. This is a mobile-ready tool that also features 199 other great recruits.


    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.