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Miami Hurricanes Football 2016 Player Profile: Gerald Willis

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In an effort to keep even the most hardcore Miami fan up to date on their favorite players, SOTU will be running a Player Profile series. In these posts, our writers will profile players from each position that they think should get more face time. They will recap their previous year, or in some cases, preview what may be to come. That way, when the season get's here, you hopefully will have a new found love for the team on the field.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Gerald Willis

DT - 6'4 280 RS Sophomore - New Orleans, La (Florida transfer)

2014 Key Stats (UF):  14 total tackles, 2 QB hurries.

Under Armour All-American and very highly recruited prospect coming out of H.S.

USA Today 1st team H.S. All-American as well.

Could/should make a huge impact in his first season in Coral Gables:

Previous Coaching Staff singled him out numerous times last season as a force on the scouting team:

Can also play some at DE, as needed.

Incredibly talented player with great burst, low center of gravity, and excellent hands for either spot on the D line.

Summary:  Willis could be the most important player on the Miami defense in 2016. UM has been starved for great interior play at the DT spot for what feels like a decade. This guy seems like a perfect match for Manny Diaz' aggressive scheme and should be a regular in the opposing backfield. Had some altercations with teammates and was thrown out of a game at UF, for shoving then FSU QB Jameis Winston on the sidelines.  So there is some baggage to be concerned about.  But if he behaves himself, should be an absolute menace for the 'Canes on the field in 2016. D Line Coach Craig Kuligowski has plenty to work with in this kid, and if he reaches his full potential he has NFL 1st Round talent.   I am tempering my enthusiasm for Willis until I see him in some actual game situations, but conservatively speaking, 5-7 sacks and 40-50 tackles should be well within his reach. Most importantly, he finally gives Miami a presence on the inside that should help talented ends like Al-Quadin Muhammad and Chad Thomas make more plays in their own right.