In a bit of a shocking development, Fox Sports writer Bruce Feldman reported on Thursday that DT Gerald Willis III will be taking a leave of absence from the football program and WILL NOT play in 2017.
#Miami DL Gerald Willis will be taking a leave of absence from the football program and will not compete during the 2017 season.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) July 13, 2017
And here’s the release on this move from UM Athletics:
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami announced Thursday that defensive lineman Gerald Willis will be taking a leave of absence from the football program and will not compete during the 2017 season.
“Gerald remains part of the Miami family and may take part in designated team activities,” head coach Mark Richt said.
Willis, a redshirt junior from New Orleans, played in nine games last season for the Hurricanes, posting 19 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
For a position of great depth and talent, this is a blow to the defensive line. No, Willis wasn’t a starting player here (that would be RJ McIntosh and Kendrick Norton), but he was a valued rotation player with plenty of talent.
This is a development that now means that the other players at DT (Anthony Moten, Tyreic Martin, Pat Bethel, and Jon Ford — should he enroll in August) will all need to step up.
More on this in the coming days.