"I called coach (Demetrice) Martin today and told him I wanted to commit to Washington," a relieved Willis told Dawgman.com Monday evening. "He was really excited and was barking and just said welcome to the team and that he was excited to have me.
"I took an unofficial visit about two weeks ago when we had a dead period in our workouts and really enjoyed my time up there. My parents really liked Seattle and the outlying areas a lot and I loved the campus and the coaches.
"The coaches and the players were both great and it was really fun getting to know them. I really enjoyed it and with the setting of the stadium right there on the water, it just felt (like home)."
Willis is an outstanding athlete who contributed on both sides of the ball for the Mariners last fall, rushing for 507 yards and four touchdowns while returning a kick 98 yards for another score and hauling in 16 receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
He said he's projected to come in and challenge for playing time at corner, but that the coaches have left the door open to get his speed on offense as well.
"They basically said they like me on defense, but that they think I could be great on offense too," Willis said. "They said they door is open for me to play on offense or defense and I'm open to doing that, so we'll just see what happens."
Willis said he didn't speak to Washington about his official visit, but would like to come up for the Nebraska game so he plans to call them and see about setting that up very soon.
"I really am excited to be committed to them and be a part of their program," Willis said.
Before making his commitment to the Huskies, Willis had received offers from Arizona, Nebraska, San Diego State, Utah and Utah State and was getting interest from Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, USC and Cal as well.
Willis becomes the 18th commitment to Washington's 2011 recruiting class and the 10th from California.
Joel Willis Scout Profile
Willis makes the call (UPDATED)
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