Willis Enjoys Visit to Westwood

The nation's fifth-ranked defensive tackle, Brandon Willis, from Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes, talks about his visit out West to UCLA and how it impacts the rest of his recruitment...

Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes defensive tackle Brandon Willis (6-2.5, 252) committed to Tennessee in early September, the weekend that the Vols hosted UCLA.

Two months later, the soft verbal to Tennessee was in Westwood and Pasadena, to see the Bruins play in person and officially visit UCLA.

"It was my first time in L.A. and I had a great time there," said Willis. "My trip was great. It's really nice around UCLA, in a real nice area. UCLA is one of the best campuses I've seen."

Willis was hosted by sophomore Datone Jones, and the two hit it off.

"Datone was my host and I talked with a lot of the other guys, like Jerry Rice's son, but I mainly stuck with Datone," said Willis.

Willis said several things stood out to him.

"What stood out most was the area," said Willis. "Westwood and Brentwood are really nice. The campus and the facilities were great and I liked the Rose Bowl."

Defensive line coach Todd Howard has been primarily recruiting Willis, and the four-star spent ample time with him, but also talked much with head coach Rick Neuheisel.

"Coach Howard is the one recruiting me, so I talked mostly with him, but Coach Neuheisel and I spent a lot of time together too," said Willis.

Willis got a chance to see one of the best defensive tackles in the country, Brian Price, have one of his best games of the season.

"Brian Price is a great athlete and a very good defensive tackle," said Willis. "UCLA wants me for that same position."

Willis also noted what struck him about the UCLA program.

"It's a program on the rise, and the coaches are recruiting a lot of great players to help them keep going, and they told me they need more players like me to keep doing that," said Willis.

But Willis said his commitment to the Vols remains the same.

"I'm still committed to Tennessee but I just want to see all of my options," said Willis. "I talked with Coach (Lane) Kiffin about it and he was cool with me taking my trips."

Willis has visited Tennessee officially as well as North Carolina and said a visit to Miami could happen as soon as next week.


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