"My decision came down to Wake Forest, Indiana and Toledo," said Willis. "The recruiting process was a blessing and a curse at the same time. It's a great feeling because you've worked so hard since you started playing youth football, but is was also hard because you build all these great relationships with all these coaches from some great schools and then you have to pick only one. So it's definitely a curse at the same time."
After weighting all his options, Willis came away feeling Indiana offered all the things he was looking for.
"Indiana has a beautiful campus and is state of the art," he said. "When you get there you get those goggle-eyes when you look up and see how tall things are and how beautiful things are.
"The campus is very impressive and then the people there are nice and they really try and make an effort to make you feel at home."
However, the Hoosiers also had something else the Ohio native wanted.
"Playing in the Big Ten Conference was the ultimate factor in my decision," stressed Willis. "Every kid who straps it up on Friday nights wants to play in the Big Ten. So the Big Ten was the ultimate factor in my decision."
Also playing a major role in the process was the relationship Willis built with first year Hoosiers assistant coach William Inge.
"Coach Inge is my main recruiting coach," said Willis. "When I first visited Indiana for their Junior Day, they didn't have a linebackers coach. But a week after I came back from the trip, he came in and got right on my case and friend requested me on Facebook and we hit it off from there. He was the guy that came and offered me in person and we've been rolling since then."
At a reported 6-foot-1, 215-pounds, Willis knows he's got things to work on to excel at the college game. However, he also feels strongly he'll be the type of player who can excel at the next level.
"The strength of my game is effort," he said. "I'm a hustler and my motor goes non-stop as a play is never over until the whistle blows. That and my work ethic are my strengths.
"I feel I'll need to work on my physical abilities to get a little big strong, a little bit faster and a little bit bigger. It is the Big Ten, so you have to be more physically prepared."
Another reason Willis is positive about his future comes from playing at one of the top prep programs in the country.
"Coach (Chuck) Kyle (Ignatius head coach) has prepared me tremendously as he knows my type of game and the way I can adapt easily to any position he puts me at," said Willis "He's transformed my game and has taken it to a whole other level. I feel if I had gone somewhere else, I don't think I would have the knowledge and know the things I know to get to where I'm at now. That is one of the big pluses at St. Ignatius."
With his commitment behind him, Willis will now focus on bringing other players into the Hoosiers football family.
"First thing first I'm going to reach out to the guys near me to try and help get them in the wagon so we can keep on rolling," he said. "There is a guy up here by the name of Dorian Baker (Cleveland Heights HS) who is a big time wide receiver. So we're going to try and get him in the basket next."