Willard Closing In On Decision

Loris (SC) 3-star linebacker Jonathan Willard is one of the top defensive prospects in the Palmetto State's class of 2008, and the hard hitting linebacker is closing in on choosing his college destination. The Clemson Tigers have long been thought to hold the lead for Willard's services, but is South Carolina making a late push for his pledge? Read inside to find out.

The 6'1", 200 pound Willard, who runs a 4.6 second forty yard dash, is rated by Scout.com as the #10 overall prospect in the Palmetto State this year. Despite claiming offers from major programs like Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and NC State, Willard has narrowed his list to three finalists and is closing in on choosing his college destination.

"I'm still looking at Clemson, South Carolina and Tennessee," said Willard. "I'm hoping to make a commitment in the next couple weeks. I‘ve just got to think everything out from what I know about the schools and try to find out what I don‘t know so I can make the best decision."

Now focused on three schools, Willard shared what he likes about each of his remaining finalists.

Clemson - "Team wise, they have a family environment, and they have a good education program down there."

South Carolina - "I really like them. They're a good team. They're competitive. They're always working hard to be the best. I like the stadium, and everything is really nice. They‘ve turned up the heat on recruiting me lately. Two of their starting linebackers are leaving this year, so they‘re going to need someone to come right in and play for them as a freshman."

Tennessee - "I like the facilities and the environment. Team wise, they're good, and the coaches are straight."

According to Willard, all three remaining teams are even at the moment, but he will look for several key factors over the next couple of weeks to help him decide on his college choice.

"I want to play for a good, competitive team. That's big, because I want to be the best. Also, the family environment of the team and the education program at the school. Basically just where the best place is for me."

Willard racked up 130 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 4 forced fumbles as a junior last season. The versatile athlete is also a star wrestler at Loris, where he has won three state championships on the mat.

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