In June, Roswell (Ga.) three-star athlete Malik Willis visited Virginia Tech for the first time, for the Hokies’ elite camp. He left the visit with a commitment to Virginia Tech and sounded solid with his decision.
Nearly a month later, though, Willis wasn’t as sure about his decision. Georgia Tech has been the other primary contender, but he’s left the door open for other possibilities as well.
Willis was back in Blacksburg last weekend, for the first time since his commitment. He was on hand for the Hokies’ win over East Carolina. The visit gave him a bit more insight, but Willis’ next destination still isn’t fully set.
“It’s good and I’m still committed,” Willis said. “I’m taking my official in December. I’m expecting them to be in the championship game, though, so it might be the next weekend. I’ve still got five officials to take, but right now I’m good.”
At Virginia Tech last weekend, Willis said he saw a few reminders of why he committed there to begin with. He took in the atmosphere and also spent time with some potential future teammates.
“I got to hang with some players,” Willis said. “I was planning on spending the night, but I didn’t get a chance. I watched the game in the front row and I talked to a couple of the players and the coaches. It was a good weekend. It was a win, so that was good.”
Assistant coach Zohn Burden has been Willis’ primary recruiter. But on his visit, Willis said he caught up with nearly all of the staff.
“They said they can’t wait to get me up there,” he said. “I talked to pretty much all of them, Coach Bud (Foster), Coach (Justin) Fuente, Coach (Zohn) Burden, Coach (Vance) Vice, Coach (Holmon) Wiggins, Coach (Brian) Mitchell and Coach Corn (Brad Cornelsen). We’ve stayed in contact every day or every other day. It’s been excited vibes from them.”
A big reason for Willis’ openness with his recruitment is what position he’d play in college. The Hokies have him slotted as an athlete. But Georgia Tech has told Willis they want him at quarterback.
When he asked Virginia Tech’s coaches if his position status had changed, it still hadn’t much.
“They told me they’re at a controversy right now, not knowing where to put me because I’ve been doing so good,” Willis said. “Last week, I had five touchdowns, 250 passing yards and two rushing touchdowns. So they said I could play quarterback, I could play receiver, I could play DB, they just don’t know.”
Willis said he’ll be getting a better look at the Yellow Jackets this weekend. And heading into the visit, he admits he’s a little skeptical.
“I like Georgia Tech, it’s just that offense,” Willis said. “That’s the only downfall. It seems overwhelming. Maybe I’m looking at it from the outside in, I don’t know. I just have to get up there and watch some film.”
But Willis said the position he plays isn’t the only factor. He said he’ll be able to adapt to wherever he plays.
“I wanna play quarterback, but I wanna start, too,” Willis said. “If I don’t win the starting job, I can always go to another position. I just want a chance to play quarterback.”
There isn’t a lot of time for Willis to decide. He plans to arrive at the school he chooses at the first of the year, in time for the spring semester.
“It’s just a process,” Willis said. “So I just let it play out. I’m taking online classes, so I’m still graduating early. VT wants me up there in early December, when they didn’t have a game, so they can give me as much attention as possible.”