Georgia Tech adds a defensive centerpiece to its impressive 2022 class
Georgia Tech reeled in a huge target for its 2022 recruiting class when Jaron Willis committed to the Jackets on Saturday afternoon. Willis hails from Lee County High School in Leesburg, GA, an area that has traditionally been dominated in recruiting by schools like UGA, Auburn, and FSU. Once again, Tashard Choice was instrumental in the pick up of a foundational piece for GT’s future.
Jaron Willis is a consensus 4 Star prospect; he stands at 150th nationally and 15th in the state of Georgia in the 247 composite rankings with a 93.93 rating. He’s rated at 92 on 247 Sports and 5.8 on Rivals. For some context, he would be GT’s 10th highest rated recruit since the dawn of modern recruiting rankings in 2000. His massive offer list includes powers like UF, FSU, Auburn, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Texas A&M, and USC.
Standing at 6-2, 225 pounds with a frame that can easily hold another 10-15 pounds, Willis has been projected at both outside linebacker and safety at the college level. The GT coaches appear to favor trying him at safety, at least initially.
Just from the first two plays of his highlight tape, you see the explosiveness and versatility. In the first play, Willis knifes into the backfield for a physical goal line stand. On the next play, he blankets a slot receiver in coverage and comes away with an interception. On his Lee County defense, Willis splits time inside and outside of the box. The tape is full of impressive plays where Willis disrupts the offensive backfield but also patrols the defensive secondary. He shows great technique keeping his inside leverage (1:07) and elsewhere explodes to the line of scrimmage (1:15).
Willis is a high level prospect with great football instincts, smooth athleticism, and powerful physicality. He can cover, and he can evade blockers while blitzing. He’s aggressive with a nose for the football. Whether the staff ends up settling on Willis playing at the second or third level of the defense, he looks like an immediate impact player and a multi-year starter.
With this commitment, GT’s class jumps up to 32nd in the 247 Composite Rankings with just four players in the class. Though it’s early in the cycle, GT’s average rating stands at 89.57, which would be far and away the highest GT has ever had in the modern recruiting era. There’s a ways to go, but there are more exciting potential commitments on the horizon. This is the kind of class that Collins and company promised, and the potentially for delivery on the promise in 2022 is worth getting excited for.