Florida State has needs almost everywhere on the roster. But the biggest of the needs is on the offensive line.
The Seminoles have already landed Thomas Shrader and Zane Herring on the first day of the early signing period. But the window extends through Thursday and Friday for players to sign, and offensive tackle Lloyd Willis is expected to add to the list.
A Miami Killian standout, Willis grew up playing basketball before focusing on football the past two years. As with many basketball stars who turned to football, he is very athletic and has good footwork.
“Lloyd is probably one of the most athletic linemen that I’ve been around since I’ve been coaching in high school,” said Killian coach Derrick Gibson, who played at FSU from 1997-2000 and spent six years in the NFL. “He bends very well. He was a basketball guy who turned to football. The only thing Lloyd is missing is strength and confidence.
“Once Lloyd gets the confidence, Lloyd is going to be able to play on Sundays.”
That kind of endorsement, from a coach who once played on Sundays, is big. Gibson sees Willis as a lineman who is just beginning to take shape. Willis began playing at 335 but has dropped 30 pounds.
“He didn’t do that without working,” Gibson said. “He likes to run more than he likes to lift. You go around the whole country, you ask yourself, ‘How many big guys really like to run?’ He is going to do what he has to do to get better.”
That should start next month. Willis is set to enroll early at FSU, giving him the spring to get a jump on academics while hitting the weight room ahead of spring practice in March.
“Day 1 he should be right in the bunch,” Gibson said. “He is going to have a whole spring to get better. He’s a piece that we really need, especially up front.”
There is still plenty of work ahead for Willis but Gibson views Willis as someone who can continue to develop as he gains experience and is put on a regimented weight training program at FSU.
“I really believe he can be one of the best to ever come through Florida State once he gets that confidence and strength,” Gibson said. “He’s athletic like (former FSU offensive lineman) Tra Thomas. He’s just like Tra. He bends very well. Tra was as strong as an ox. Lloyd is going to have footwork. Once Lloyd gets stronger, the sky is going to be the limit.”
Lloyd Willis | OL | 6-7 | 310 | Miami, Fla. | Killian High School
Big, athletic offensive lineman with tremendous upside … Three-star prospect rated as No. 85 offensive tackle according to 247Sports Composite … Helped Killian to 9-3 record and appearance in 2019 FHSAA Class 5A state playoffs … Blocked for offense that produced 23.5 points per game and averaged 122.0 rushing yards per game … Team totaled 1,464 yards and 17 touchdowns on 232 carries … Chose Seminoles summer before his senior year after receiving interest from multiple schools, including Indiana and UCF.