There are things of which Priest Willis is absolutely certain. His college choice isn't one them. He does, however, have a decision date planned. The backdrop? That's been decided, too.
Willis, a coveted four-star cornerback at Tempe, Arizona's Marcos de Niza High School, will announce his commitment at Jan. 5 at the Under Armour All-American game in St. Petersburg, Fla. It's a self-imposed deadline, sure. But he seems to be struggling with it nonetheless.
Ask Willis if he's set a new date for his previously cancelled visit to LSU, and it's like a light bulb flips on in his head. Everything is sinking in now. The time for urgency is approaching. Willis' recruitment is turning a corner.
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"I guess I better schedule that soon, huh?" he said. "I'm deciding in, like, a month."
There are other things that have been determined as well. Willis, who holds 16 scholarship offers, will cut his list down to eight in the near future. He's also decided he won't be entertaining new offers.
"If a new one comes in or something, it'll be, 'Thanks for the offer, but it's kind of late in the process.' " Willis said.
The final list isn't finalized, but there are certain schools that are locks to make remain standing. Willis isn't fixated on the drama that comes with a pre-decision trimming. He's actually sucking the mystery right out of it. He gives away seven of the final eight, and it's nothing groundbreaking for anyone following his recruitment.
All the usual suspects are accounted for.
According to Willis, locks to make his final group include Arizona State, UCLA, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Oklahoma, LSU and Florida State.
Willis' latest trip was this weekend, when he took an unofficial visit to UCLA and to take in the Bruins' victory over USC. He says all the usual good things about the trip. By now he's repeated them dozens of times.
He also suggests it wouldn't be wise to read too much in to the fact that he set a date for a commitment immediately following his weekend in Los Angeles.
That, he says, was just a matter of opportunity.
"It just came up," Willis said. "They gave me the spot to announce there, and I took it."
Willis says he has not settled on a school just yet, but is likely to make a choice well before he makes it public on Jan. 5. He intended to take his scheduled official visit to Florida State on Nov. 24.