Wednesday, January 13, 2010

DE Willis spurns other offers, firm with Tar Heels

The call came from former-Tennessee and now-Southern Cal recruiter Ed Orgeron, a man Duncan Byrnes High DE Brandon Willis and his father Gary had grown close to. The Trojans, Orgeron said, were offering Willis, who was committed to Tennessee, a scholarship to Southern Cal.

Then-Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin had broken the news only hours before on Tuesday; he was headed to USC and taking defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin (his dad) and Orgeron with him. The Willis’s were stunned. Kiffin had been in Knoxville less than a year.

“When coach Orgeron made that offer, I told him, ‘I gave you my word and Brandon gave you his word, and you gave us your word and then you leave,” Gary Willis said moments ago as he, his son and other family members drove toward Chapel Hill. “How do we know someone else won’t offer you $5 million and you’ll be gone again?”

Gary said many other schools also called after Kiffin switched, including Alabama and Auburn.

Some were supportive when he told them the Tar Heels’ commitment was firm. Others, not so much.

“I told them, we’re not going to open that (recruiting) book again,” Gary Willis said. “Some coaches said some nasty things, but we respect the coaches who respected our decision.”

He also said that a huge key in Brandon’s final decision was Tar Heels’ junior defensive tackle Marvin Austin, who had become good friends with Brandon.

“Marvin talked to Brandon and he talked to me late last night, and he said he hoped to play his senior year with Brandon,” Gary Willis said. “But he said wherever Brandon went, he knew he would be a baller and he would stay in touch with Brandon and support him.”

Finally, Brandon Willis (6-foot-4, 250 pounds), coming off a 127-tackle, 13-sack season and ranked No. 4 in The Observer's postseason S.C. Top 25, decided on North Carolina. He is already enrolled for the spring semester and will start classes this week.

Which, as you might imagine, pleased the Tar Heels coaches no end.

“They said they just want to see him, to touch him,” Gary Willis said with a laugh. “They’ll get to real soon.”

--Stan Olson

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whatchu talkin bout Willis? jk

You and Austin will be a force next year!

Anonymous said...

Willis will probably see limited time next year with the depth at DT. Needs to add some weight, but will be a starter his Soph. year.

Anonymous said...

2nd fiddle = UNC

Rocky Top, you'll always be, home sweet home to Willis. Good ole'...

errrrck....

"In my mind, I'm gone to Carolina... Can't you see the Mieneke. Can't you see the Pine Tree's....? lol"

If UNC is the world beaters their fans think they are...why are they playing second choice to all these kids?

Anonymous said...

1:37, enrolling early means he gets spring practice and can get into the conditioning and nutrition program right away. He could end up getting some significant time as a freshman.

Anonymous said...

2nd fiddle guy, I don't think any UNC fans think we are world beaters in football right now. The fact remains that he came to UNC in the end, did he not? 2nd fiddle or not with some of the recruits that went to UT, we haven't been 2nd fiddle on plenty of good recruits that committed to UNC already. Sometimes you are just a hair short of getting a player for reasons out of a staffs hands. Nice try though on the baiting.

Anonymous said...

Hey 2nd fiddle guy... enjoy watching your program continue to fall apart over the next few years!

LMFAO

Anonymous said...

that is a good get for unc, they must have offered him the world, because if i was that willis kid and alabama came calling....shoot. i'd be in crimson and white faster than MJ can draft a unc player

dkirkward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Amazing that UNC was able to get Willis in, considering this is currently a recruiting dead period:

(9) January 11-14, 2010, [except for (a) below]:
(a) Institutional staff members may have contact with a
prospective student-athlete who has been admitted for midyear
enrollment, provided the prospect has signed a National Letter
of Intent or other offer of admission and/or financial aid to
attend the institution and is required to be on campus to attend
institutional orientation sessions for all students.


http://web1.ncaa.org/web_files/AMA/recruiting_calendars/DI/Text/Football.pdf

Where's the research Stan?

Anonymous said...

He had said he was coming to North Carolina prior to recommitting to TN so he had already been admitted to UNC planning to enroll in January.

Anonymous said...

Also, as far as the dead period goes, sure that is true. However, doesn't it make sense that it was more than likely he and his father that contacted UNC about his decision, not he other way around?

Anonymous said...

Nice try, dead period guy.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how Auburn and Alabama were able to call him during the dead period, then?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I would go to Bama as well IF I could play. Why go some place where the talent is so thick that you may only get a down or two in your career. Big Fish, Small Pond is much better to showcase skills than Small Fish, Big Pond. Additionally, the Defense side of the ball at Carolina is as good as any group in the country. Unfortunately, the Offensive side is just that... very offensive.

Butch Slapped said...

"LMFAO" How hard were you laughing at the 3 losses you got at the hands of NC State? If the program is truly in shambles, how is it beating UNC best of 5 is complete...want to raise the stakes to best of 10?

Point is...all of you unc folks talk all that smack and haven't earned it. NCSU fans knows it has room for improvement. You guys were calling for a National Championship in football THIS YEAR. How will you win the NC if you cannot beat NCSU? It's a very relevant question given your current coaches W-L record with NCSU.

Keep on laughing, but I KNOW you weren't too excited when we handed you that LOSS and took millions out of your pocket en route to the Meineke Bowl.

The last laugh is mine.

Hook Em' - Ram Fishing said...

He "said he was coming to Carolina prior to recommitting to Tenn."

So he picked Tenn, then decommitted, said Carolina, then recommitted to Tenn. And somehow you still think UNC was his first choice? RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!

If you redo anything...haven't you done it before anything else?

Just trying to understand the spin, but please go on...it's good humor.

As far as bait...I had you guys at "Anonymous said.." Gotcha!

Anonymous said...

can someone remind me what bowl state went to?

Anonymous said...

Can someone remind me what bowl game Carolina lost?

The Neither of us could beat NC State bowl, now I remember.

Amazing that he could have all that paper work ready to go and enroll at UNC. Harvard of the South.

Anonymous said...

toilet

Anonymous said...

How about best out of 99? UNC is 63-30-6 vs State. You guys keep hanging your hate on the last three years if you want. I know you don't have much going for you when it comes to sports. Now go catch some bass.

Anonymous said...

NC State is a program in shambles...Football and Basketball.

Anonymous said...

High School Sports should ban athletes from announcing which College they are going to attend on television; they are going to COLLEGE not the NFL or NBA. The kids should be more hummble & thankful towards ALL the schools which are going to give them Scholarships.....

Anonymous said...

^they don't wanna talk about that. What does it say about your athletic program when one game means everything, every year.

state's act is tired. honestly, you've won 3 games in a row, who cares. put a little more effort into beating someone else. it'd be nice for you guys to become competitive again, so you could become our rival againt instead of the university of new jersey at durham.

Someone with all their teeth said...

Hilarious that the 2nd fiddle redneck worships a school that was just proven to be 2nd fiddle.

Great work with the irony schmuck!

Anonymous said...

y'all need to get some perspective on recruiting sheesh

ahaha look at all the bored NC State trolls, are they always this bad

Anonymous said...

Not a dog in the fight, but it amazes me how State fans take a shot at UNC b/c they own them in football. However, what does that mean when the season and overall record is better. To me, it is like UNC basketball losing to Duke in the regular season and/or ACC tournament and yet winning the National Title. Which is more important? Who cares who beats whom when the end of the season and recruiting is the ultimate measuring stick.

Anonymous said...

all these moo trolls on here are hillarious. Put as much effort into improving your pathetic athletic department as you do trying to keep track of all things UNC and you might get a little better at on the field performance...I doubt it, but you might. moo sucks...now cook my burger and don't screw the change up again.