Illinois sack-artist visits Louisville

Mark Willis, a 6-4, 220-pound defensive end from Oak Park, Ill., is getting strong attention from several BCS-level programs. The midwest standout has attended a few junior days this spring and was in Louisville last weekend to check out the Cardinals. InsideTheVille.com has the latest.

Mark Willis, a 6-4, 220-pound defensive end from Oak Park, Ill., is getting strong attention from several BCS-level programs. The midwest standout has attended a few junior days this spring and was in Louisville last weekend to check out the Cardinals.

"He's a very rangy kid," Oak Park coach Jim Nudera said. "He's got long arms, size 18 feet - he's going to get bigger. He's quick for his size. He runs about a 4.7 (forty) and will probably be a little quicker this year as he's working in the weight-room."

An excellent pass rusher, Willis is getting interest from Louisville and a number of Big 10 programs.

"He played defensive end for us all throughout the season and led our team in sacks," Nudera said. "He's got good range and he's able to run people down, especially when they get to the perimeter. He's a good pass rusher. He's (still) growing into his body and he's going to be a bigger kid than he is right now."

Willis has been to Illinois, Wisconsin and Louisville already this spring. If that's any indication, the Illini, Badgers and Cardinals likely sit strong atop Willis' early list of favorites. "He went to Illinois' junior day and he's been to Wisconsin's junior day," Nudera said. "Penn State called the other day and they want tape. Obviously Louisville. Northern Illinois has also shown a lot of interest early."

Nudera said Willis came away impressed with Louisville following his trip for junior day.

"He enjoyed Louisville's camp and he told me their defense was kind of getting pushed around – he was saying that the offense really took it to the defense in the scrimmage," said Nudera. "He likes the school and was really happy to have the opportunity to visit."


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