Four-star DE Gerald Willis III picks Gators

By Adam Silverstein
January 2, 2014

Two days after losing a four-star running back, the Florida Gators added an equally highly-rated defensive end in Gerald Willis III (New Orleans, LA).

Willis (6-foot-4, 247 pounds), ranked No. 49 overall in the nation by, committed to the Gators at halftime of the 2014 Under Armour All-American Game, choosing Florida over LSU.

He is rated as the fifth-best player at his position nationally and sixth-best prospect from the state of Louisiana.

Willis is the second member of his family to commit to a college other than LSU, despite his mother, April Justin, being a huge fan of the hometown Tigers. His brother, 2013 safety Landon Collins, chose Alabama over LSU to his mother’s displeasure. Justin was seen on ESPN shaking her head and waving her hands at Collins’s decision; she later said in an interview that her son made the wrong choice.

The Gators’ 19th overall commitment, Willis is the fourth defensive lineman to join Florida’s 2014 class. He is UF’s third highest-rated commitment thus far in the cycle.


  1. Joe says:

    Welcome Gerald.

  2. Ken (CA) says:

    nice to have 4 DL to add depth to the line. FSU picked up a big time WR as well, so maybe Ermon won’t be as quick to follow as he might have been, considering if he is as good as advertised, potentialy tons of playing time available with a couple of good passing QB and a pass-happy OC

  3. nugent1021 says:

    Now lets get Bo Scarbrough.

  4. Daniel M. says:

    Nice pickup. This guy lays the lumber.

  5. Danny says:

    Huge get during a flood of losses. Let’s hope it sticks.
    Dline help is much needed if we want to a great D in the future.

  6. Aligator says:

    Defense! We need some DTs!

  7. G2 says:

    At least we didn’t get shut out. Hope it sticks. His moms kinda hot!!

  8. Mr2Bits says:

    Great get and definitely a breath of fresh air for our team especially after Cook bashing our players and program today. Mrs Collins needs a bra and some happy pills that both her kids have great futures fwiw

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Wow. As bad as last year was, he thinks overall Duke has better athletes than we do?

      “Cook said. “People told me to watch the Duke game, I watched the Duke game. Coach Roper is a great coach, but I don’t think Florida has the athletes like Duke got.”

  9. Trout Gator says:

    Awesome news! Great to steal him from LSU. I have faith for a turn around in 14, it’s a new year!!!

    Go Gators!

  10. uf_84 says:

    I’ll believe it when I see that it’s official on signing day but it sure is great news for now. If we could somehow steal Lorenzo Carter from UGA we would have one hell of a set of pass rushing DEs for the future.

  11. Sroode21 says:

    All the doom and gloom gator fans…. Go jump on another bandwagon…. Go Gators

  12. Gatoralum88 says:

    Holy cow! How many different baby daddy’s does April “hooch” Justin have? If nothing else, she’s proven to be a grade-A breeder. Her kids choosing not to sign with LSU just tells me they want to get as far away from her crazy a** as possible. Go Gators!

  13. Gatorgrad79 says:

    We could have a bad-ass D but we need to score points!! (and any defense that has to play 40 or more minutes a game will get worn down and have injuries…just sayin’). I hope that Driskell has had a major bout of maturity and judgement growth and that our new OC will be allowed to actually dictate the offensive direction. Hopeful for 2014, Go Gators!

  14. aziatic41 says:

    I hate to say it but Driskel is not as good as the Boone kid from Duke. Boone is faster and releases the ball way quicker. Driskel is a dual threat but he does not possess what Boone does. Hopefully Driskel can get more physically fit over the summer. I still think we need to sign a juco QB who is a dual-threat to run Roper’s offense. Also we need another elusive RB. Matt Jones and Mack Brown are both north-south backs. We need a home-run hitter!

    • Tractorr says:

      We need a JUCO QB because we are not going to have good depth at the position. We probably won’t get a good one though because any good QB would want to go into a situation where they were almost guaranteed to start.

  15. SW FL Joe says:

    So now Cook is a talent evaluator as well as a RB. I hope the University of Florida State appreciates what a true gem they have. Duke doesn’t have better athletes than UF, they have just been “coached up” better. Our time is coming.

  16. aziatic41 says:

    Adam- Do you know if we are going to be able to land any other 5-star kids on signing day ? Very surprised that we landed Gerald Willis. And what are our chances of landing Ermon Lane ?

    • Not sure who exactly is announcing on signing day yet. We’ll get to that as the month draws closer to an end. As far as Lane goes, many feel like he’s already decided on FSU and Florida has to pull him back despite him saying he’s 85 percent committed.

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