Willis sets lofty freshman goals

The Gators received good news on Thursday when defensive end Gerald Willis (New Orleans, LA Edna Karr) shocked everyone by picking Florida over LSU. Willis says he chose Florida because he felt comfortable in Gainesville.

“It was Florida because I fit in there,” Willis said. “It just felt like me. Coach (Derek) Lewis has been recruiting me since my freshman year. They are passing rush team and have a 3-4 team. Plus Florida has swag.”

New Orleans native Derek Lewis was the main recruiter for Willis and the two of them talked on Sunday night and later talked on Thursday.

“I told D-Lew that it was between Florida and LSU,” Willis said. “He told me, ‘Come on you got to be a Gator.’ Thursday I called him and told him I’m a Gator now.”

Expectations of early playing time are one a big reason that the New Orleans native will enroll in school at Florida  next week.

“I want to play next year and make plays on the field next year,” Willis said. “I want to show I’m the number one player like I am. I need to get in the weight room and get stronger next year and learn the plays in order to do that.”

The Gators much like Willis have high goals for the defensive end and even are comparing him to a former Gator great.

“They told me I’m like an (Dominique) Easley type of player,” Willis said. “They said they don’t want me to be just an end or just a tackle but both. I’m going to probably gain a little weight so we will see what happens.”

If Willis sees the field like he expects to next year than he has high goals set for himself as a personal goal.

“I want to have 10 sacks and be an All-SEC type of player next year,” Willis said.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.