Broken Left Fibula: Required Surgery (2018)
2019 Vs: Wisconsin, Arizona State, Western Michigan
Mentally and physically tough defensive end. Excellent at diagnosing the play. Fundamental tackler. Increased production every year. Flashes of explosiveness.
Limited experience as a standup linebacker. Average athleticism with very little in his pass rush arsenal. Strong as an ox but can't laterally defend very well.
Willekes has what you would call "functional" athleticism. Not the most athletic but gets by with good technique and motor. Very well-coordinated in that the upper body flows correctly with his lower half instead of being herky-jerky. Has shown very little ability in terms of flexibility because he wasn't asked to do it often if it all. Play speed could be improved upon as well.
Pass Rush Ability:
Use of Hands
Pass Rush Moves
Big Play Ability
He has an average burst off the line but does well to fool unsuspecting blockers. Hand usage is subpar. Leverage is an issue at times with more physical blockers with longer arms. He only has a limited pass rush arsenal and once the moves are beaten, he's got nothing to counter with. Finishes sacks very well.
Against The Run:
He gets chewed up by bigger and longer blockers, which leads to an inability to stack and shed properly. Once he gets locked onto, it's game, set, match. KW understands gaps and maintains gap discipline throughout the rep. Offenses can run at him though as he shows little ability to disengage until the play is well out of reach. Whether its due to lack of experience standing up or coaching, he can't catch up laterally to opposing running backs. A very fundamentally sound tackler if he gets in the picture.
Set the Edge
Stack and Shed
Gap Shooting Ability
Like most Spartans defenders, he's tough as nails. He plays with a constantly running motor regardless of snap count. Production was steady through the last three years of his career. He doubled his sacks from his junior season to senior season.
Willekes is above average as an instinctual defender. He's often in the right place even if he isn't athletically capable at times. The learning grade is a little low due to the lack of experience playing standup linebacker but he got better as his career went on so that's worth something. Teamwork is excellent as well.