Palmetto State LB Favors Three

Loris (SC) star linebacker Jonathan Willard is one of the top overall prospects in the Palmetto State this year, and the hard hitting defensive standout already has three schools atop his list of favorites. Where do the Gamecocks stand with this top linebacker target? Read inside to find out.

The 6'2, 210 pound Willard, who racked up 130 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 4 forced fumbles as a junior last season, is rated as the #8 prospect in the Palmetto State in's early look at the class of 2007, and he already claims an impressive list of offers.

"So far recruiting is going excellent. I'm getting a lot of schools looking at me," said Willard. "Clemson, South Carolina, UNC, Florida, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia, and Kansas have all offered me right now."

Out of those early offers, Willard says that three schools currently stand out in the race for his services.

"Florida, Clemson, and South Carolina stand out right now."

The athletic linebacker shared what he likes about each of his early favorites.

Florida - "They're the national champs. They're doing good things down there."

Clemson - "For me, that's like my home school, because most of my family went to Clemson, and I've got relations down there."

South Carolina - "They're moving up in the SEC, and hopefully they'll have a good season."

Willard, who is being recruited by Coach Steve Spurrier Jr. for the Gamecocks, recently attended South Carolina's junior day and came away impressed with the USC program.

"In Columbia, it went great. I liked their stadium and how everything is built around the stadium. They are a team on the rise."

While Willard is attracted to the football programs at each of his three early favorites, he said that he will look more at the academic side of things when making his college choice.

"I'm looking at the graduation rates, education and stuff like that."

Willard also set a timeframe for his decision.

"I'll make it sometime over the summer. I know that."

Willard, who plans to attend camps at both USC and Clemson over the summer, closed by sharing what strengths he brings to the football field.

"I'm quick, aggressive, and always around the ball."

Stay tuned to for all the latest on this premier Palmetto State linebacker.

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