Offense sold Willies on childhood favorite


When Derrick Willies (Rock Island, Ill./Rock Island) picked up his offer from Iowa this past Friday, the Hawkeyes immediately jumped to the top of his board. It only took him a few days to pull the trigger and commit.

Willies, the Hawkeyes’ second commitment of the 2013 class, visited the program for the first time this past weekend and was blown away at the hospitality of the coaches and players.

“They were just really welcoming and every coach knew about me and they all wanted me to be there,” he said.

Willies spent most of his life in Iowa but moved to Rock Island, Ill., recently. Having spent so much time in the Hawkeye State, though, Willies said he has “always been a bit of an Iowa fan.”

What really sold Willies on the program is how the offensive staff plans to utilize him when he arrives in Iowa City. At 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, Willies said the staff believes he can be an immediate red-zone threat as a freshman.

“They told me they need a big, fast wide receiver and [assistant] coach [Erik] Campbell is telling me how when he wants a guy and sees something he can work with that he gets them,” Willies said.

Before Iowa offered, Willies was leaning toward Wisconsin, though the Badgers have not offered. Willies also has offers from FBS programs Iowa State and Northern Illinois and FCS schools Eastern Illinois and Illinois State.