Blue Devils Strong With Top Va WR/TE

For Duke to get back to regular success in the ACC, it's going to take improved recruiting results year in and year out. That means landing some of the top talents throughout the country. That process is slowly starting to come around as one of the Mid-Atlantic region's best WR/TE prospects has Duke among the choices on his list.

"Duke is one of the best academic schools on the east coast," said 6-foot-5, 215 pound Virginia Episcopal standout Reynolds Willis. "The benefit of going to Duke is one that many other schools could never even compete with."

Called Reyn for short, the talented junior has begun to see his stock rise among some of the nation's top programs after last season's on field performance for the Bishops and head coach Bruce Stell. In nine games he recorded 26 catches for 738 years, and nine touchdowns. That's a 29.5 yards per catch average if you're scoring at home.

A number of top programs surely were as Willis is hearing from Duke, Virginia, Wake Forest, NC State, Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgetown, and Richmond. Of those schools, the four ACC programs are considered the teams to beat – though Duke seems very strong.

"I've always been a big Duke basketball fan, and I'm excited to see how the football program is starting improve each year. It's an attractive program being close to home, and being one of the best academic institutions around."

While the basketball program has been successful under Coach K, Duke football has lagged a bit in recent years, but Willis is quick to point out that the changes in staffing will be a big step in the right direction.

"It is a good change, and should be what takes Duke back to ACC prominence," said Willis of head coach Ted Roof and company.

While he can play either tight end or receiver, Willis says he has been told he projects as a big receiver at the collegiate level thanks to his speed (4.5 forty) and leaping ability (31 inch vertical jump).

No matter where he ends up, his head coach certainly believes that Reyn will be a success.

"Reynolds has an amazing awareness about him on the field," says Virginia Episcopal head coach Bruce Stell. "His natural ability is the best I have seen in 20 years of coaching. Perfect routes, great hands, speed to run away from defenders and an intensive competitive spirit. Teams fear his ability to control the game offensively. A true leader on the field. Reyn has what it takes to succeed at the next level. He will be a star."

The praise isn't likely to go to his head though. In fact Willis is always looking to improve, and says he's never satisfied.

"I need to work on getting open against the double team, and better acceleration off the line in man coverage."

Off the field Reyn says he would like to major in either business, law, or marketing.

Q&A With Reynolds "Reyn" Willis:

On what he brings to a program:

I think I am a positive role model as to how to act off the field. I usually stay out of trouble when I'm not playing. In the locker room I always support my teammates, giving them any advice they need for on or off the field. On the field I believe that I lead well by example. I always show up to play, and my coaches can expect some big plays out of me every game.

Which honors did you earn last year?

1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-State, and 1st Team All-Area, Lynchburg News and Advance (Public and Private)

Is location a factor in your decision?

Yes, I would like to stay in an area on the southern part of the east coast.

What's been the highlight of your high school career to date?

My sophomore year at Ravenscroft High School we reached the state championship only to lose on the last play of the game. This year at VES we reached the playoffs for the first time in a long time but ended up losing to STAB. We are the favorites to win state next year.

The best moment was probably at last years Homecoming, taking a short hitch route and turning it into a 90 yard touchdown. The crowd went absolutely insane.

Do you have a timetable on committing?

I would hope to commit before the start of my senior football season.

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