Coming off a rocky first season with the program, freshman defensive end Gerald Willis III has been dismissed by the Florida Gators, which announced Tuesday that he will transfer from the program.
Willis, who got into an embarrassing public altercation with a teammates in Oct. 6, was in Florida’s doghouse for most of the season, missing two games at the start of the 2014 campaign for undisclosed reasons.
In addition to the aforementioned incident with redshirt sophomore quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg, Willis was removed from the Florida State game on Nov. 29. While standing on the sideline, he hit FSU quarterback Jameis Winston late after Winston ran out of bounds; Willis received a personal foul penalty and was thrown off the sideline by the Gators coaching staff.
“If I was still head coach, he would be kicked off the team. That’s ridiculous,” then-head coach Will Muschamp said after the game.
Willis also made his share of impact plays during the eight games he played this season, recovering a fumble against Eastern Kentucky and forcing a fumble at the goal line against East Carolina in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl.
A consensus four-star prospect out of high school, Willis was ranked the 83rd overall player in the class of 2014 by Rivals, No. 42 overall by ESPN. His departure huts a Florida team in need of talent as it struggles to fill its 2015 recruiting class.