Florida Gators football: Standout defensive end commits

Florida Gators

The addition of Gerald Willis helped make up for a rough week for the Gators at the Under Armour All-America game.

It was a rough week for the Florida Gators at the Under Armour All-America game, but they did come away with at least one prize.

Five-Star defensive end Gerald Willis III (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr) committed to the Gators during the first half of the game on Tuesday.

Willis’ commitment could not have come at a better time when considering how the rest of the week went for the Gators. Running back Dalvin Cook, long considered the prize of Florida’s recruiting class, switched his commitment from Florida to Florida State on Tuesday. On top of that, wide receiver Ermon Lane and athlete J.C. Jackson, both close friends of Cook’s, each said he was only “85 percent” committed to the Gators. Not exactly what Florida football fans want to hear with about a month to go before National Signing Day.

The waffling from Lane and Jackson makes Willis’ commitment all the more important. The 6-foot-3, 275-pounder has the ability to play both defensive end and defensive tackle at the next level. He is regarded as the third best defensive end and the 29th overall prospect for 2014, according to ESPN. He also held offers from LSU, Alabama, Florida State, Texas A&M and Texas, among others.

While his decision is great for the Gators, Willis’ mother was not thrilled with his choice, to say the least.

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Despite her feelings, one can bet that head coach Will Muschamp and the rest of his coaching staff will be more than happy to see Willis in orange and blue.

Florida now has 19 commits for 2014, including 11 in the ESPN 300.

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