Top JUCO prospect Nate Willis, a 3-star JUCO defensive back from Western Arizona committed to USF this summer, then de-committed and now has the Bulls back in the mix for his services and is planning to visit. Read on for all the detail on why the 6'1, 180 pound corner back had the change of heart and where the Bulls stand now.
Restocking the secondary is one of the top priorities for '13, and besides bringing in a solid group the staff wants to add a few with some experience to help out this upcoming season. One prospect that fits the bill is Nate Willis, a top JUCO defensive back at Arizona Western. Willis committed to USF following a second campus visit this summer, but reopened up his recruitment and the Bulls seemed to be on the outside looking in. However that's no longer the case.
"It's West Virginia, Baylor, Kansas State, and USF. Those aren't in any order, but are the schools I'll be making my choice out of," said Willis. "I pretty much know everything about all of my top four schools, but just want to get a little more information."
"The only reason I took USF off of my list was because I didn't know what was going on with their coaching situation and I didn't want to put myself in a situation where I didn't know everything about," said Willis. "That's not the case any longer."
Things have changed now that the Bulls have a new Head Coach in Willie Taggart and USF is back in the battle for his services.
"I haven't been able to have a full conversation with Coach Taggart yet due to his schedule, but I've been talking to Coach Wingate and he said Taggart has said some great things about me," said Willis. "He said he wants be to come in and make an immediate impact, said he knows of me, watched my film and loves how I play.."
"I did my research and Coach Taggart and he's a great coach, a good mentor, and knows how to put his players and team in the right spot to succeed," said Willis. "I feel he's the type of coach that I can really relate to and that's what puts the Bulls back in the mix for me. I should be having a talk with him over the next week and can't wait."
The top JUCO defensive back said he knows of Coach Taggart through several former and current players at WKU and at USF.
"I know of him at Western Kentucky, through a friend of mine that went there and played quarterback," said Willis. "He said he's a great coach to play for and is an overall great person."
"One of my former teammates Josh Brown is at USF and he says that Coach T is a great coach and is a player's coach," said Willis. "He said he's a great motivator and gets everybody all fired up about what they're going to accomplish."
Besides the Bulls new head coach, Willis said there are a lot of other things that he likes about South Florida.
"When I did my research on DBs in the draft, I found out that USF besides USC has the most defensive backs and defensive players in the NFL over the last so many years, they have people a lot of people, some I didn't even know of that had tryouts and made teams, with a lot still playing. That's big to me."
"I already been to Tampa and the campus and just loved everything about it," said Willis. "The campus and the facilities are just great, the academic program and the overall school and student body, I just liked everything was really just liked everything about it. I loved it and just loved Tampa. It just felt like a home to me."
The former Pahokee player said returning to Florida has appeal, but it's not the biggest thing.
"Coming back to Florida and getting closer to home does mean something, but it's not the top thing," said Willis. "Going to a place that puts me in the best position to succeed and to further my career is most important."
The Arizona Western standout said he's aware of the opportunities to play, but isn't concerned with competition that much.
"Early playing time is big, and I don't want to sound bigheaded, but any school that I go to I feel that I'll earn the starting job," said Willis. "I have the confidence that I'll work harder, compete harder than anybody else. Make plays and be an impact player."
Willis has been talking with a former starter at cornerback for USF in Kayvon Webster and has been getting some great advice on becoming a better player.
"I've also formed a relationship with Kayvon Webster from Pace HS," said Willis. "He puts me on the right track, tells me what the coaches are looking for, and watches my film and tells me things that I probably need to change to make me better. I already know much of it, but he's giving me tips to make myself an elite player."
"I do know that South Florida really needs DBs. West Virginia does too, I think K-State does, but not as much. Baylor needs some too," said Willis. "USF and West Virginia need the most help though."
As to his immediate future plans, Willis said he plans on taking and official visit to USF and possibly one other.
"I know I'll take an official visit to South Florida, I'm not sure on the dates yet, but I'll probably take one to Baylor first, then I'll take one to Tampa," said Willis. "I've been to Tampa, but never took an official and want to. That way I can see even more about the program and the new staff."
The coveted corner said he doesn't know exactly when he'll make his decision, but it could come sooner than later and maybe before his visits.
"I'm not totally sure when I'll decide, but I could commit before I take my visits," said Willis. "I'm not sure when, I was going to wait until signing day, but I may do it before then because I enjoy the recruiting process, but it is a bit stressful, and I wouldn't mind getting it over with. It could be me just waking up and saying that's where I'm going."
Stay tuned with USFNation.com and FOXSports as we keep you updated on Nate Willis's looming decision.
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