Willard Planning Early Decision

Loris (SC) future 4-star linebacker Jonathan Willard is one of the top defensive prospects in the Palmetto State's class of 2008, and with an impressive offer list already to his credit, the athletic linebacker is planning to make an early decision on his college choice. Where do this Gamecocks stand with this top defensive target? Read inside to find out.

The 6'2", 210 pound Willard, who runs a 4.55 second forty yard dash, claims offers from major programs like South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Maryland. The Scout.com pre-season rated #8 prospect in the Palmetto State doesn't currently list any favorites, but he said he hopes to make a decision soon.

"Everything's going pretty decent so far with recruiting. I've got a lot of schools keeping up with me right now, and if things go good, then hopefully I'll choose soon," said Willard. "At this point, I don't have any favorites right now, but hopefully I'll get one to stand out."

The standout linebacker, who could not make it to either in-state spring game last weekend due to taking the ACT, shared his thoughts on a few of the schools that are vying for his services.

North Carolina - "They‘re recruiting good players. UNC has the best defensive lineman (Marvin Austin) coming up, and I think that they'll be good in like the next two years."

Clemson - "I think Clemson will be good in the next two years too, and a lot of my family went there."

South Carolina - "USC is a good program already. Their schedule is tough, but they‘re doing good in the SEC. I like them, and I like my recruiter, Steve Spurrier Jr. He's a pretty cool guy. He's funny and stuff, but he's also straight up with you. "

According to Willard, he is looking for two main factors when deciding on the school of his choice.

"First, I want to pick a school that can help me get a career after football like education-wise. Then, I'm looking team-wise for a program that's going to have a good team whenever I come up."

While Willard would like to make his final decision soon, he does not yet have a specific timeframe for a commitment.

"I know that I'm going to do it before the season starts, but I'm not really sure of an exact time."

Willard, who racked up 130 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 4 forced fumbles as a junior, is already gearing up for his senior season in the fall.

"I'm getting ready right now. I can't wait for football. I'm running track now, but after track practice, I'm running cone drills and stuff to help me get ready. "

The versatile Willard is also a star wrestler at Loris, where he has won three state championships on the mat. Willard, who bench presses 300 pounds and squats over 400 pounds, said he plans to attend summer camps at South Carolina and Clemson.

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