Looks like Iowa football caught a case of the Willies!
/everyone immediately clicks away
Ahem. Iowa football added the second member of its 2013 recruiting class today, snagging a verbal commitment from Rock Island wide receiver, Derrick Willies. Willies originally hails from California, but got lost (and trapped) in the Quad Cities a few years ago. He spent his first few years there at Burlington, but recently transferred to Rock Island. As a junior, Willies put up very nice numbers for Burlington (57 catches, 934 yards, 11 TD) and earned second-team All-State recognition.
Willies is a 3* recruit from Rivals and 247 Sports (hasn't been ranked yet by either Scout or ESPN) and has some very solid measurables: 6-3, 190 lbs, timed at 4.4 in the 40. Despite that, though, Willies hadn't yet amassed an impressive offer sheet -- he held offers from Iowa and a host of directional Illinois schools, mid-majors, and FCS schools (Iowa State, Northern Illinois, Illinois State, Eastern Illinois). Either his measurements are a bit fudged (never!) or he was an under-the-radar prospect who most programs hadn't yet noticed. We're rooting for the latter.
To be sure, he looks fast enough on the highlight reel up above -- no one's catching him from behind there when he gets into the open field. He also makes some catches in traffic and appears to have good hands. The usual caveats about highlight reels apply, but his highlights appear to have exactly what Iowa wants out of its wide receivers. Not to mention the thing that probably had the Iowa coaches sporting wood as soon as they hit play: BLOCKING HIGHLIGHTS! Seriously, at least a third of those highlights are devoted to clips of Willies blocking. And he's... pretty good at it, actually. He's no Hines Ward or anything, but he certainly looks a cut above a lot of high school receivers when it comes to blocking. That certainly bodes well for his ability to see the field quickly at Iowa. In any event, welcome aboard, Mr. Willies.