UP NEXT: 2010 Byrnes DE Brandon Willis

Recruiting is about seeing upside and potential in young prospects. 2010 Byrnes DE Brandon Willis has it all! At 6'4 240 pounds and already posting 119 tackles last season helping lead Byrnes to a state championship Willis is the next player to be featured in our "UP NEXT" series. Come inside and see why ACC & SEC schools have already starting keeping a watchful eye on the 2010 budding star.

As the state championships have become commonplace in Duncan for the Byrnes Rebels so too has the tons of talented players there. Fresh off another state championship the Rebels return a great deal of their talent next season. They lose some key players on defense including All-State and Florida State commit DE Everett Dawkins. The Byrnes fans will surely miss their superstar as he heads to FSU but they have reason to remain excited as 2010 prospect Brandon Willis appears to be the successor to anchor the Rebels defensive line.

We caught up with Willis to talk about his recruitment and what the journey has been like during his first two seasons with the Byrnes program. At 6'4 240 pounds Willis has a great frame to add more muscle and could quite possibly get even taller before he's through at Byrnes. Just like most Rebel football prospects, Brandon excels in the weight room. "I bench 300 pounds, squat 470 pounds, and my fastest 40 time so far is 4.7 seconds." With two more years to go his potential is what has drawn college coaches in to check out the young man.

Two programs who have made it a point to keep a very close eye on him thus far are Virginia Tech and Georgia. He talked about the schools he's most interested in at this point in his career too. "I like Virginia Tech, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Miami, South Carolina, and Clemson. If I had to pick a favorite this early it'd be Virginia Tech."

Brandon also talked at length about what he's looking for most when looking a potential colleges. "The education is always the major factor for me. Then the playing time, just how the depth chart looks for me getting early playing time, and also the facilities."

When asked about the Rebels undefeated state championship season he replied, "It felt real good but we put in a lot of work this season so it really paid off." His work on the field was evident as he made 119 total tackles for the AAAA Division 1 state champions.

Playing with a senior leader like Dawkins also benefited Willis he says. "I've learned that you never give up on a play even if it is going the other way because Everett has made a bunch of plays like that during his career. He has taught me some tricks that he uses to figure out the man in front of you. Overall he really helped me a lot."

As for this offseason Brandon has a plan in place that should keep him quite busy. "I'm trying to get a lot stronger and faster. I also want to go to as many camps as I can to learn more techniques and to get seen by more college coaches." Those offseason workouts will indeed be grueling but there are some key areas where Brandon says he'd like to get better at. "Just being able to beat and handle the double team. Also keeping containment, not that it is bad but it could be better." Right now Brandon utilizes his speed, strength, and good technique to be such a outstanding player.

The plan is to steadily improve and with that he's set a lofty goal for himself and in helping his team during the next two seasons. "I want to become the best defensive player that Byrnes has ever had so that's what I'm working on. I also want to help lead my team to more state championships and maybe even a national championship."

A Closer Look At...Brandon Willis
Toughest team you've faced? Centerville (OH)
Toughest player you've faced? the linemen for Centerville
Most memorable game in your career? The game against Centerville was for me because I made the game winning sack in overtime which helped us get the win.

We will have more updates with 2010 standout DE Brandon Willis as he continues to create a buzz for himself in the recruiting world with his outstanding potential. Keep it locked right here with SCPrepNation.com, the new leader in South Carolina high school football recruiting coverage.

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