La. Tackling Machine Names Out of State Leader

The numbers that Napoleonville (La.) Assumption linebacker <b>Yashua Willis</b> has put up during his prep career are staggering and he still has one more season to go before he heads off to college. The 5-9, 193-pounder is a tackling machine with great instincts.

Last season Yashua Willis recorded 167 tackles, six sacks and returned his lone interception for a touchdown while racking up first team All-State honors and his second consecutive district MVP award. He has totaled 358 tackles in his three years as a starter and hopes to eclipse the 500-mark before he is done.

"I have a good ability to find the ball and reading the play before it happens," Willis told The Insiders. "I hustle to the ball every time it is snapped. I spend a lot of time studying my opponents too."

Willis said he expects to fill out considerably over the next year and he will move to strong safety once he gets to college. He expects the transition to be a learning experience but not anything he can't do.

"By the time I get to college I'll probably be about 5-11 to 6-0 and 210 pounds," he said. "I don't think it will be too hard moving to strong safety because a strong safety likes to bring the hat like a linebacker. It may be tough getting used to covering receivers one-on-one like a strong safety has to do sometimes but I think I can do it."

Schools from all over the country have expressed an interest in Willis but the ones he hears from the most are Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Oklahoma State, LSU, UCLA, Southern Miss and Wisconsin. Out of that group Willis has identified a leader and three more he likes.

"My top schools are Alabama, Auburn, Florida and LSU," he said. "Alabama is my favorite because I like the coaching staff. Their academic program is pretty good and I like the facilities. They have good fans and a good tradition."

Willis has made one unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa to check out the Crimson Tide program up close when he attended junior day and he left with a big smile on his face.

"They were loving me," he said. "They were very impressed with my body and talked to my brother and brother-in-law a lot. They said they'll be at my spring game in May."

Most prospects in the Bayou State would love to play for the BCS Champion LSU Tigers but Willis is taking a different stance on the matter.

"I'm hearing from LSU but I'm really not that interested," he said. "It's an opportunity for me but LSU is really not a big part of me. I'm really not that big of an LSU fan."

Willis plans on camping at LSU and Alabama this summer so he can try and improve his game before his senior year begins.

He has a 2.8 GPA and is waiting on the results from the ACT he took in April.

Sonny Shipp covers LSU Recruiting for TheInsiders.

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