A Sign of Things to Come

Making his first visit to a Wisconsin football game, Brookfield Academy wide receiver and University of Wisconsin commit Frederick Willis has already made a positive impression on the UW Student Section.

MADISON - Standing on the field during pregame warm-ups, Frederick Willis made the first of what hopes to be many catches since committing to the University of Wisconsin in late August.

Looking up to see a practice kickoff come his way, Willis made the easy grab, only to turn around and see the UW student section clapping and yelling his name.

It was a great way to start off his first college game at his future home.

Making the short trip with his mom, Willis' unofficial visit was a successful one, getting to better know the surroundings of his future home and watch Wisconsin win a 20-19 contest over Arizona State on Sept. 18.

"It was really excited and a great moment," Willis told Badger Nation. "Playing in front of 85,000 people will be an experience. I talked to Sam Arneson for awhile, and he was real excited to be coming to Madison, too."

Willis also got to talk to recruiting coach Bob Bostad and wide receiver coach DelVaughn Alexander, who has become increasingly anxious to work with the raw talent from Brookfield Academy High School.

"I think he's really excited and I am personally excited about it," Willis said of Alexander. "The relationship so far seems great and Is going toward a positive direction. He is a really cool, relaxed guy and I like that."

Willis (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) has been a duel threat for the Blue Knights. With his team sporting a 2-3 record through the early parts of the 2010 football season, Willis has 23 catches for 247 yards and five touchdowns and seven rushes for 87 yards and another score.

"Me personally, I have been pretty happy with my season so far," Willis said. "I am trying to stay healthy and do a little bit of lifting. It's put me a little behind, but I talked to the strength coach at Madison (Ben Herbert) said he likes it when guys come in with a clean slate. So, it's not really a bad thing that I am no lifting."

Willis broke the news to Badger Nation that he was picking Wisconsin over scholarship offers from Army and Harvard as well as recruiting interest from Eastern Illinois, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, LSU, North Dakota State and Stanford on August 30.

Willis got his offer during June's high school summer camp, but was officially sold on the Badgers until an August unofficial visit let me see the more important side of the campus.

"I got really excited about them on my unofficial visit when I saw the athletic football services, meeting the people I would be working with and with my tutors and my professors." Willis said. "I had great times before that, but I never really knew about the academic side. That was a big thing for me."

At a school that preaches academics first, Willis has proven to be an exceptional talent in the classroom, carrying a high-B average while juggling his role on the Academy's football team.

"I take a lot of pride in my grades," Willis said. "Not to sound stereotypical, but a lot of black males are known for their athletics. I want to be known for my academics first, athletics second.

"I am ready for the next step. Everybody has been telling me that I have potential and I am ready to take it."

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