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July 6, 2012

Matchup No. 2: Willis vs. Mike

MORE: Underclassmen challenge

Rivals.com is counting down the top five matchups we can't wait to watch at the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge in Dallas on July 8. Here is No. 2.

DE Gerald Willis III, New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr
vs. OT Andrew Mike, Tucson (Ariz.) Sabino
:

Why Willis has an edge: The younger brother of Class of 2012 five-star safety Landon Collins, Willis certainly has the bloodlines to be a dominant player. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive lineman has early offers from most of the SEC, a testament to his ability. He's a huge defensive end and surprisingly quick for his size. He can use his power to bull-rush the offensive lineman or his speed of the edge to get to the quarterback in a hurry. It is tough for an opposing lineman to stop him in a game-setting, but will be even tougher to do without pads.

Why Mike has an edge: The rising junior offensive tackle has great size at 6-foot-7, 260 pounds. Mike has long arms, which will help him keep the defender away from his body. He moves his feet well for a young player his size, as most of the time big underclassmen are still adjusting to their bodies. Mike has already proven himself in camp settings this summer, as he was named the Offensive Line MVP at an Arizona camp and then earned an offer from the Wildcats. He should be one of the better, if not the best, tackles at the Challenge when it comes to the 1-on-1 drills.

Overall edge: Willis is somewhat of a freak of an athlete and will be tough to stop, but he does not have any camp experience. The rookie will be facing a somewhat-seasoned veteran in Mike. Willis also is stuck between defensive end and defensive tackle, so he will have to prove this weekend that he can stay at end. The advantage would appear to be for Mike, right now.



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