Florida State pushing hard for 2022 LB Jaron Willis

2022 linebacker Jaron Willis has developed into one of the top players in his class as we enter the spring. His recruitment took off last year and that has continued into 2021 where he has picked up offers from Miami, Michigan, and a few others. Right now, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Florida, Ole Miss, and the Hurricanes are among some of the teams that are heavily in contact with Willis.

The Seminoles offered the Georgia native last April and have made him a priority ever since. He’s been talking with head coach Mike Norvell and a majority of the defensive staff, including linebackers coach Chris Marve. Willis speaks with a member of the staff basically every day.

“Coach Norvell, coach Marve, coach Woodson, the entire defensive staff, just hit me up constantly and they’ve been consistent in checking on me,” Willis said. “They’re always showing me love and tell me that I can come in and be a program changer for them.”

“Ever since FSU gave me the offer,” Willis continued. “We’ve [Marve and Willis] just been on it. We’ve built from there and it’s just gonna get bigger from now.”

Outside of his relationship with the coaching staff, one thing that interests Willis about FSU is the focus on getting the defense back amongst the elite in college football. It’s no secret that they want the four-star prospect to be a part of that resurgence.

“The way that the staff is trying to come in and change the defense back to the old Florida State defense,” Willis said. “They’re showing me love and that I could be a big part of what they’re building.”

Interestingly enough, Willis actually grew up as a fan of the ‘Noles. He watched star quarterback Jameis Winston lead the program to a national championship in 2013 but his favorite player was wide receiver Rashad Green due to their similar backgrounds.

“I always was a Jameis Winston fan but my main player is Rashad Greene,” Willis said. “He’s from where I’m from, a small town in Georgia. Him making a big name for himself from a small city to go to the big stage is something I can relate to.”

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The Lee County product isn’t the only big name set to come out of his high school in 2022. His teammate, four-star offensive tackle Qae’Shon Sapp, picked up an offer from Florida State in November and is seeing his recruitment explode through the first three months of 2021. Willis wouldn’t be surprised if they end up at the same college.

“We joke about it but being for real about it,” Willis said. “We always talk about going to the same school or what it would be like playing against each other. I think we really have something in the back of our minds that if we went to the same school, it wouldn’t be weird because we know each other. We also like to play against each other and to be competitive. We’re gonna be competitive anywhere we go, if it happens to be the same school, I wouldn’t be surprised because we always talk about it.”

Willis also knows a current player on the Seminoles roster in defensive back Jammie Robinson. The two played together briefly at Lee County in 2018, when the program won its last state championship. At that point in his career, Willis was playing safety and had the opportunity to learn from Robinson on the practice field and film room. Now, Willis is trying to finish out the South Carolina transfers legacy by bringing another ring to the Trojans.

“I want to be known,” Willis said. “I want to build my legacy in Lee County and carry out the No. 6 tradition. Whoever is wearing No. 6, that’s the guy. Obviously, Jammie [Robinson] wore it and Otis Reese [Ole Miss] wore it. I’m just trying to follow in their footsteps. They built a foundation and I’m trying to finish it out for them and for the young kids, the next six up, to have the opportunity to do the same thing.”

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker is planning to narrow things down to a top-5 on March 24. We remain confident that the Seminoles will make the cut. He’s currently ranked as the No. 148 overall prospect, the No. 11 OLB, and the No. 16 player in the state of Georgia in the 2022 class.

Keep up with NoleGameday for the latest on Willis’ recruitment and upcoming senior season.

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