Gerald Willis III, DT, Miami (Fla.) #9

6032, 295, 4.94

Notes: From New Orleans, LA, where he was exposed to a lot of gang-related violence growing up. Is the younger brother of New York Giants safety Landon Collins. Initially signed with Florida out of high school, where he had a troubled freshman season in 2014, including a physical altercation with former reserve quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg over a pair of cleats and was penalized for a push in the facemask of former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston while Willis was standing on the sideline and not in the game. Played in 8 games and recorded 14 tackles, 1 FF and 1 FR. Was dismissed by the Gators after multiple violations of team rules. Acknowledged he had an anger problem following those incidents. Transferred to Miami in 2015. Sat out that season per NCAA transfer rules. In 2016, he played in 9 games as a redshirt sophomore, totaling 19 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks and 2 PBU. He missed time due to suspensions and tore the MCL in his right knee. He missed 2 games, played through the injury to finish the season before undergoing surgery. Took a leave of absence from the team to deal with personal and family issues, returned to spend time as a scout team player, but did not play in 2017. Coaches say that he had learned from his past mistakes and really changed coming into the 2018 season. Often just called “G” by teammates. Scheduled to graduate with bachelor’s degree in business in December 2018.

Positives: Nice size and thick build. Quick, fast, strong, violent. Dominant and virtually unblockable at times. Very disruptive. Makes plays in the opponents’ backfield. Explosive off the snap with powerful hands to control and disengage from blockers quickly. Very effective upfield swim move. Strong and physical at the point of attack. Gets upfield on the pass rush. Overpowering at times and can collapse the pocket with power rush. Plays with intensity and passion. Very tough and physical. Football is important to him.

Negatives: Well-documented past of anger issues and off-the-field challenges. Does not have a long track record of production and consistency.

Summary: First-round talent and potential impact player. Has a chance to be a dominant ‘under’ tackle or 3-4 defensive end in the NFL as long as he stays on the rails.

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