CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Redshirt senior defensive tackle Gerald Willis was among those players added to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Maxwell Football Club announced Wednesday.
The original watch list released in August was comprised of players based on their performances from last season, and included Miami senior Jaquan Johnson and junior Shaq Quarterman. The Maxwell Football Club added several players because of their noteworthy play through the first half of the 2018 regular season.
Willis, who has started all six games for the Hurricanes, is tied for second in the nation and ranks first in the ACC with an average of 2.1 tackles for loss per game.
After missing all of 2017, Willis returned to the field for Miami's season opener on Sept. 2 and delivered an overpowering performance in the trenches vs. LSU. Willis posted a career-high four tackles for loss – the most in a single game by a Hurricane since 2008 – and was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week for his performance.
Willis was named the Outland Trophy National Defensive Player of the Month on Fri., Oct. 5.
He has had at least three tackles for loss in three of six games this season, posting three against both Toledo (Sept. 15) and FIU (Sept. 22). The New Orleans native has totaled 28 tackles, a team-best 12.5 tackles for loss, a pair of sacks and one pass breakup.
Where’s the self-anointed draft expert that assured me in at least a dozen posts that there was no chance Willis would be drafted in the top 3 rounds. He was sure but wouldn’t bet me.
Linemen with performance like Willis are sure fire top 3 picks in the NFL... and you don’t have to be draft expert to know that.
Here’s an example for you, Mr. Draft Expert. Deadrin Senat from USF, nowhere near dominated his games like Willis is dominating his against better competition.
Yet the Atlanta Falcons drafted him in the third round mostly based on slightly above average performance in college, but on potential as well. Willis has both performance and potential. He will be a top three round pick barring major injury. For example Willis already has more TFLs then Senat did in his entire senior season including all games and a bowl game
Miami has the greatest DT legacy in NCAA history by a wide margin. If the coaches can't seel that position they dumb as hell. At the same time this current staff needs to show some chit some you have a point. Problem is what did jimbno fisher, Sabin and others sell>. Those teams didn't have chit for DT's yet they come in and land top guy after top guy. Willis may go first Rd but that doesn't mean this staff will get top guys. If they can't its clearly a staff/ DT position coach issue and he needs to be upgraded