Potential first-round pick passing up advice, planning to play in bowl

By David Kenyon
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Gerald Willis III has put together a breakout season, but the defensive tackle isn’t planning to skip a bowl game despite the Miami Hurricanes’ struggles.

According to Christy Cabrera Chirinos of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Willis said he’s heard from NFL players to not appear in a bowl but has decided he won’t sit out.

It’d be foolish to fault Willis if he chose that route, considering the senior has performed at an All-American level this season. He’s collected 16 tackles for loss, the fourth-most in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Plus, Miami is experiencing some problems.

The Hurricanes have dropped three straight games due to an anemic offense. Head coach Mark Richt has refused to settle on a quarterback, and that constant shuffle has plagued Miami as it fights for a sixth win.

Willis, though, is a critical piece of the nation’s third-best defense. He’s a likely Day 2 pick with the potential to rise into the first round after athletic testing.

Still, barring injury like what happened to Ohio State star Nick Bosa, Willis will give the ‘Canes every play possible. It’s a risky, yet admirable choice.