Two-Way Threat Commits

With Cal still pursuing a few of the nation's top defensive backs, the Bears locked up a verbal commitment from Garden Grove (Calif.) Pacifica two-way threat Joel Willis. The three-star prospect projects as a cornerback but can play wide receiver and kick returner as well…

Joel Willis (5-10, 180) committed to Washington last August, but he said he would keep his options open. He maintained his verbal commitment to the Huskies until last month.

"Washington is still the school I'm committed to and I really like them and how their season is going right now," Willis told in November. "I'm still keeping an open mind though because my family would prefer I stay closer to home and they've asked me to keep an open mind if anyone else wants to come along and recruit me or offer."

Willis decided to exercise those options.

California offered him mid-season and Willis hinted about taking an official visit to Berkeley. He did not take an official visit to Washington, and has only visited Utah back on Dec. 10. Soon after, he narrowed his choices to the Utes and the Bears until committing to Cal on Monday, according to sources close to his recruitment.

Willis will take his official visit Cal on Jan. 21. The Bears are recruiting him to play defense while Utah preferred him as an athlete.

He recorded 90 tackles and three forced fumbles on defense and posted 40 receptions for 905 yards five touchdowns along with 345 yards rushing and three touchdowns rushing on defense. He also returned one punt for a 75-yard touchdown and two kick returns for touchdowns (77 and 95 yards).

Willis has very good speed despite not possessing great size. However, he can bulk up and shouldn't lose his quickness. On film, he uses that quickness to break on the ball, and he possesses above average ball skills. While he does have the ability to be a game breaker on offense, he has a better opportunity to play as a freshman on defense. Cal returns only two lettermen at cornerback and one redshirt in 2011.

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