Stock rising for Tennessee LB

Hollow Rock (Tenn.) standout
Patrick Willis is positioning himself for a lot of recruiting

Article Continues Below
attention late in the process.
Scholarship offers have been slow to develop for the
Bruceton Central running back/linebacker, but an improved ACT score and
consistently high marks on his cumulative GPA may help turn up the heat for
the remainder of November and beyond.
"I was real relieved to get my scores back," said
Willis. "That's going to allow me to go just about anywhere I want to go, if
I get the offers. I'm going to take the test one more time just to be
certain and prove how well I can do, but it's taken a lot off my shoulders."
Tennessee, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Memphis and
Middle Tennessee have been showing the most interest in Willis (6-2, 220,
4.6). He's led his Bruceton Central team to a 10-2 record this year by
rushing for more than 1,600 yards and recording 133 tackles, six sacks and
six interceptions on defense. Those numbers have made him a finalist for
Tennessee's Class A "Mr. Football" award and attracted more calls to his
"Ole Miss has come on the strongest," he said.
"They've moved up a lot. I think they're going to be offering me soon. I
like their program a lot. It felt real comfortable when I was down there,
like home. I think they're on the verge of something big, and they keep
saying they need a player like me to be a part of it. So like I said,
everything sounds like they're going to offer when they check out my new
test scores."
The extra attention has helped the Rebels close
ground on Willis' previous clear-cut favorite, Tennessee.
"They're still my favorite, but I'm not as sure
about them as I was two months ago," he said. "I'm trying to look more at
where the best fit is for me, not just my favorite team that I've grown up
watching. I'm looking for somewhere that I could come in and make a big
impact and help build something. I'm not as sure I could do that at
Tennessee as some other places."
Willis has yet to schedule his official visits. He
says those will come when his team wraps up its season.