Gators add a great defensive line haul

The Florida Gators culminated a big signing class on Wednesday meeting their needs and maybe going beyond that. Five prospects along the defensive front including three that played in the two big All-American games form a group that not only fill needs but have a chance to be difference makers for the Gators.

The headliner in terms of star power on Scout.com rankings is 5-star defensive end Gerald Willis of New Orleans (Louis.) Edna Karr. The 6-foot-5 270 pound Willis is a weapon off the edge garnering 31 sacks as a senior and setting a new state record in Louisiana. Willis will have a big time chance to come in and compete right away to get on the field, especially with the lack of numbers at the big defensive end position. He surprised most everyone on national television during the Under Armour All-American game in January when he chose Florida over LSU.

Next In line would be 4-star defensive tackle Khairi Clark of Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna. The 6-foot-2, 323 pounder is a man in the middle of the defense and he is as quick as they come for a body that size. Clark committed to Florida early in the process after previously being committed to Miami and became one of the biggest cheerleaders in the class. Now he may be the real prototype Nose Guard in a 3-4 defense with his size and ability. He could be a real difference maker on defense.


Thomas Holley

The Gators needed a little help, but when Penn State lost their head coach in Bill O'Brien, it was enough for Under Armour All-American Thomas Holley to make the switch to the team that was the ever-so-close second place finisher in the Gators. The Brooklyn (N.Y.) Abraham Lincoln defender is a perfect complement to Clark in the middle with his quickness. A three-technique, he has only played football for two years but is advanced for that little bit of experience in the game.

Justus Reed is a prospect Florida committed in the summer when other higher rated prospects at the BUCK position wanted to come on board. The 6-foot-4, 235 pounder fits the dual threat role that the BUCK position requires as a standup linebacker crossed with a rush defensive end. It is a hard position to fill, and the Florida staff loved Reed's ability when he was in camp in June and he committed a little while later.

Taven Bryan was another camp offer that came all the way from Casper (Wy.) to earn the Gator offer. Bryan is a high motor guy with primo size (6-foot-4, 250) for the defensive end position. An athletic big man, Bryan is a guy that just may be versatile enough to play inside either part time, or even full time down the road. The staff again loved him in camp and offered him on the spot.


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