'Momma knows best!' Mother's face can't hide disdain about top recruit son picking Florida over LSU

By Staff Writer 01/03/2014 22:01:00

'Momma knows best!' Mother's face can't hide disdain about top recruit son picking Florida over LSU

  • Football mom April Justin couldn't hide her disappointment when son Gerald Willis III yesterday chose Florida over Louisiana State University
  • In 2012, her eldest son Landon Collins also ditched LSU for another team
  • Video of Justin's obvious disappointment made her an instant Internet star
  • Justin maintains LSU is the number one team, but her sons wanted to broaden their horizons

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 14:08 EST, 3 January 2014 | UPDATED: 17:01 EST, 3 January 2014

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College footballer mom April Justin is not known for hiding her feelings. 

Justin became an Internet star two years ago when video of her obvious disappointment that son Landon Collins refused to play for Louisiana State University went viral.

The self-professed LSU fan made headlines again yesterday when her younger son Gerald Willis III also announced he didn't want to join his mother's favorite team.

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No poker face: April Justin (third from left) could barely hide her disappointment when her son, five-star defensive tackle Gerald Willis III (seated), announced his commitment to Florida over LSU during the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game

No poker face: April Justin (third from left) could barely hide her disappointment when her son, five-star defensive tackle Gerald Willis III (seated), announced his commitment to Florida over LSU during the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game

April Justin
April Justin

Not impressed: April Justin could barely crack a smile after her son announced his decision

Not happy: Gerald Willis III (in red) didn't look impressed when his mother April Justin (third from left) told a reporter she thought, 'LSU is still number one'

Not happy: Gerald Willis III (in red) didn't look impressed when his mother April Justin (third from left) told a reporter she thought, 'LSU is still number one'

 

Justin could barely crack a smile after Willis picked the Florida Gators over LSU during the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game.

'It is what it is...LSU is still number one,' Justin said, frowning. 'I feel LSU is a better place for him to be. LSU Tigers number one'

Willis said it was his big brother, Collins, who helped him make up his mind.

'He just told me that I need to get out of Louisiana and see a different life. He told me the Gators defense fit me and I would be dominant at Florida,' he said.

Although Justin wasn't impressed, sports commentators say her reaction this time around was more subdued than in 2012 when she held her head in her hands as Collins chose Alabama over LSU to progress his college football career.

'I feel LSU is a better place for him to be. LSU Tigers number one,' she told reporters after Collins' announcement.

Yahoo! Sports reported Justin's comments fueled ridicule from LSU fans and Collins' fellow All America Game teammates.

'There is a way to conduct yourself in those situations,' Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco defensive lineman Darius Hamilton told Rivals.com.

'When you are on national television she shouldn't have done that to her son. There is still a long way to go until National Signing Day and whatever issues she has should have been worked out behind the scenes.'

April Justin with son Landon Collins in 2012

Let down: April Justin (left) wasn't impressed when her son Landon Collins (left) chose the Crimson Tide over LSU in 2012

Let down: April Justin (left) wasn't impressed when her son Landon Collins (left) chose the Crimson Tide over LSU in 2012

April Justin
April Justin

Not thrilled: Justin was extremely disappointed at her son's choice but couldn't do anything about it

Justin is known in college football circles for her hands-on management approach.

She teamed up with other experienced 'recruiting moms' last year to run a 'Momma Knows Best' seminar in New Orleans. The women shared their first-hand knowledge of the college athletics recruiting process with other parents.

'I've just been a football mom. Until the day that (Landon Collins) made his commitment (on ESPN), I didn't know that it was that big,' Justin told SportsNOLA in September.

'It was crazy! Some coaches plant Hollywood dreams in a recruit's head. Some don't figure on a redshirt year as freshmen. Landon didn't. He was disappointed in his contribution. I told him to stay focused.

'We are parents. We have to continue to be parents all the way through college. This process will impact my child's life. Education is the key to success. Sports is not guaranteed for anyone. An education is the road to success.

'Recruiters look at us as just moms. They don't think we have the knowledge. We get pushed to the side.'

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