Indy's Willis Talks Recruiting

Indianapolis (Ind.) Franklin Central has sent several football players to the D-1 ranks over the years, the latest being Ohio State standout defensive back Donald Washington. The Flashes have another standout that will have his pick of schools come February. The Boiler Sports Report caught up with running back Darius Willis after one of his summer work-outs this past Friday.

Darius Willis, a 6-foot, 205-pounder, rushed for 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2006. He was an all-state selection in the Hoosier State and is considered one of the top tailback prospects in the Midwest.

We asked Willis to describe his running style.

"I try to emulate LaDainian Tomlinson," Willis said. "I look at him (Tomlinson) a lot. I'm a power runner but I'm also explosive and can cut-back and make people miss."

Willis then talked about his goals for the upcoming season and which schools have currently offered him a scholarship.

"The only offers that I know of right now are Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and Purdue." Willis said.

"I've been talking to a lot of other schools but as of right now I only have four offers in hand. As far as my goals are concerned, I just want to get my team to state."

The reason for Willis' lack of scholarship offers could be because he hasn't showcased his skills on the camp or combine circuit this spring or summer.

"The camps and combine thing is just something that I haven't done," Willis explained. "I decided that it was best for me to be around my teammates working out everyday."

Schools from coast-to-coast have called Franklin Central coach Lance Scheib to inquire about Willis. We asked Darius if he could tell us if distance is going to be a factor in his decision and which schools are at the top of his wish list.

"I'd like to stay close to home," said Willis. "My mom though has been joking around telling me that she might want to move away. In the end, I'll be making the decision with my mom. She's going to be a part of this decision as well.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet but I'd like to stay close but who knows. As far as favorites, I'm looking at Indiana, Illinois, Purdue, Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama and Notre Dame."

Willis received several phone calls from college coaches during the May evaluation period. Which call stood out the most.

"That's a tough question," said Willis. "I'd say the one that stood out the most was from Billy Lynch at Indiana. Coach Lynch is a funny guy, real down to earth and he made me feel comfortable."

As far as the 2007 season is concerned, Willis has one game circled.

"Oh, it's got to be Roncalli." Willis said. "Roncalli is our biggest rival and we play them in week #2. It's going to be a great game for sure. The Rivalry is big. There's going to be a lot of fans at that game. They beat us last year so we want revenge."

Willis told the Boiler Sports Report that he plans on majoring in business or marketing and he plans on graduating with his class next may. Darius was certainly a pleasure to speak with. He's a well-spoken young man with a bright future.

Special thanks to Franklin Central assistant coach John Mallery for setting up our meeting with Darius as well as giving us a tour of the football facilities.

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