ESPN 300 defensive tackle Gerald Willis III (New Orleans/Edna Karr) was presented his honorary game jersey during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2014 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game at Edna Karr High School in New Orleans on Wednesday.
Willis, the younger brother of former Under Armour All-American Landon Collins, is one of 90 players selected to compete in the seventh-annual Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. It will be televised on ESPN on 4 p.m. ET.
“First of all, I would like to thank God, my family, friends, the faculty, my fans,” Willis said. “I would like to thank the whole Cougar nation for having my back since the ninth grade. I’ve been through a lot of struggles and things like that, but I’m proud to make it out. And thank you to Under Armour.”
Watching his brother enjoy the Under Armour All-American experience and commit on television made Willis’ decision a simple one.
“What I’m really looking forward to is making my commitment on TV like my brother did. I accepted the invitation to the Under Armour Game because it looked like my brother enjoyed his time out there,” he said. “It looked like a great experience. I want to go to Florida and have a great time,”
The versatile defensive lineman said he wouldn’t be where he is today without the support of people closest to him.
“My coaches, family, friends … since day one, since the ninth grade I’ve been through some struggles and they kept me going,” Willis said.
The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Willis is No. 29 in the ESPN 300 and the No. 3 defensive tackle in the class. He is considering LSU, Florida, Texas A&M, USC and others.