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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Another football commit rolls in…

Nate Willis has committed to Kentucky. Willis, a 3-star CB/FS JUCO from Arizona, has asked to come in and be an immediate starter for the Cats, and has the talent to back it up. According to Rivals’ Justin Rowland, Willis intends to be a “one-and-done” in college. Last week, Rashawn Franklin did an in-depth profile of Willis, which I encourage you to check out below:

Nate Willis, CB/FS

Height: 6’0
Weight” 180 lbs.
40 time: 4.4
Junior College: Arizona Western C.C. (2013)


-An explosive kick returner. Willis is a combination of great vision and 4.4 speed that could be deemed as illegal. He is able to beat guys with his great lateral movement but also has blinding speed at his disposal that allows him to outrun entire special team units.

-Interchangeable positions. Willis’ ability to play both corner and free safety would have better serviced former defensive coordinator Rick Minter. Willis will play corner at UK but he doesn’t lose much ability when he switches positions. At safety, he’s able to play the deep-half of the field without much consequence, routinely baiting quarterbacks into bad decisions. At corner, he plays close to the line of scrimmage and uses his length and physicality to disrupt the timing of the opposing wide receivers’ routes. He is rarely outran because of his elite speed.

-A vicious hitter. Willis is one of the more physical defensive backs I’ve seen in a while. Whenever he has a chance to tackle an opposing player, it is a devastating hit almost every time. He plays the run game extremely well for a guy his size and isn’t afraid to slow down an oncoming running back. On tape, he looks ready for the physical nature of the SEC.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

39 Comments for Another football commit rolls in…

  1. scottydee
    9:28 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Welcome aboard, Nate! Here’s hoping you can spend your time intercepting and breaking up passes instead of having to do all the tackling that our secondary has had to do over the years. You will love the great state of Kentucky. GO CATS!!!

  2. Catlogic15
    9:34 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    “One and done”?

  3. 5000
    9:34 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    how can you be a one-and-done in football?

  4. Some Guy in Kentucky
    9:36 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Coach Stoops is adding players in this class that should improve UK’s ability to compete in the SEC this year.

  5. Stooooops
    9:37 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    2,3 He is a JUCO transfer, which means he can leave for the NFL after just one season

  6. You left that out!
    9:38 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    What other schools were recruiting him?

  7. Joe
    9:39 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    I’m assuming he spent two years in JUCO, making this his third year that he would be removed from high school. This, making him eligible for the NFL draft. So I’m guessing the “one and done” is a reference to his time at UK

  8. Steve Kragthorpe
    9:42 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    I depended a lot on JuCo players too… Just sayin.

  9. MustangCat
    9:42 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    After Woolard, this is what I think might be the biggest “get” we had left on our wish list! HUGE pick-up for the Cats!! Glad this kid didn’t “stoop” to some other school! I am more stooped about football every day!! Oh, the article on Nerlens today is a great one. Amen. We need a few more Tebows in this world. Bless ya Noel! God bless ya!

  10. Rockfield, KY
    9:52 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

  11. Cat Fanatic
    9:52 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    If Willis is as good as Rivals says he is then why is he only a 3* player???

  12. Rob
    9:56 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Watched his video on Hudl and hes got a mean streak too him. Something we’ve lacked across the board on defense. He is a legit 4.4 guy from his kickoff return. Please press extremely well. I think if we get him here and have him playing at 195 this is our #1 guy next year on opposing teams star receivers.

  13. Nice to have a real coach
    9:57 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    I think the job Stoops has done to pick up recruiting at the tale end of the process is fantastic and indicative of greater things to come. I look forward to seeing next year’s team with a real defense, a real offensive coordinator, and, I hope, real discipline and resolve. I am very optimistic because I am convinced Joker Phillips was a disaster as a head coach and I think we will see just how bad it really was over the next 3-4 years, as we march toward respectability, competence, and finally, excellence.

  14. kycatman
    9:58 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Welcome aboard Nate and welcome to Kentucky. Here’s hoping your time here is well spent and serves you well toward your dreams. I think you will find the BBN to be the best of fans and that UK the best of schools for your services. Go Stoops!!!!! Go Cats!!!!!

  15. 11, you took the words right out of my mouth. The “Overview” above makes him sound like Ronnie Lott, yet only 3 stars. Hmmm…

    10:00 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    wonder why yhis guy is only a 3 star the way you described him???

  17. 12, if he puts on 15 lbs, he probably won’t have 4.4 speed anymore. He would be an even harder hitter I guess though!

    Despite what I said in comment #15, I’m excited about UK football. Maybe Nate and Jaleel will give us a great defensive backfield!

    10:01 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    sorry #11 didnt see ur post…must mean ur as smart as me!1

  19. Supply and Demand
    10:03 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    11 and 15, it’s the law of supply and demand, they just ran out of stars.

  20. dswan
    10:13 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Like the fact the he’s got some size, speed, and experience. After losing Caffey… this was a guy I really wanted. Very excited about this one.

  21. RichieFarmer'sMustache
    10:14 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    11 & 15, the “star” rating is much different in football recruiting versus basketball. You know who was a 2 star recruit that played for us? Randall Cobb. I think that turned out ok.

  22. kycat2013
    10:18 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    USF seems to be losing a couple of their recruits. Taggert is down there now I do believe.

  23. asdf
    10:21 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Stars don’t mean didley.

  24. woodworm
    10:21 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    21-a 2star may turn into a great player maybe once in a Kentucky blue moon. the star rating is pretty indicative of how good a player is. look across the lines of all the top sec teams and you will be blinded by 4/5 stars

  25. scukfan
    10:44 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Actually florida’s #1 ranked recruiting class averages out to 3.65 stars so while yes the top teams have more 4 star players than UK, there are few teams with multiple 5 star players. Most good classes are 3 and 4 star players which with the exception of one 2* all stoops has gotten is 3 and 4 star guys with offers from some quality schools.

  26. RichieFarmer'sMustache
    10:57 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    24) That’s true, but my point in comparing the ratings of football vs. basketball, is that there are so many more high school & Juco football players across the country than there are basketball players, that the rating system for football is much more watered down. We as fans base our expectations of our recruits on how many “stars” they are, when we should have faith in our NEW coaching staff, not the OLD coaching staff, that they know what they’re doing and are bringing in the players that will excel in their system.

  27. Big Blue 66
    11:09 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Stoops is bringing in good solid talent that can start immediately and make us dangerous. folks, Stoops and the focus from the admin on money support will get this program on the right track…Im in

  28. MustangCat
    11:10 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Star rating is important, but mainly for the purpose of attracting the higher star guys! And keeping the fan base happy. If you look at the guys near the cutoff lines, your 4-star player may be only ranked 10 spots higher overall! I look at how they rank at their positions. Because if a player is ranked the #200 player in the country vs the #210, you have to account for 100 or more of those spots going to offensive skill position guys. I think Willis is the #3 or 4 DB in Juco ball! And a certain amount of this is popularity contests.

  29. MustangCat
    11:12 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    For example, Lovell Peterson is a top 10 player at center.

  30. just curious
    11:18 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    #21 The star rating is much different in FB vs. BB? hmm, the best players are rated 5 stars, the next tier is 4 stars, and so on. While their are hundreds more recruits that have to be rated, “scouting” the players and assessing their talent is no different. In other words, just like every bball team envies Cal signing a roster full of 5 star players, every fball team envies the Bama’s, FL’s, LSU’s that sign a roster full of 4/5 star players. I get that UK needed a new coach and fresh blood, and I get that Stoops has provided some excitement. Its just kind of funny that 1 short year ago most fans were complaining about 2/3 star players being recruited to UK and how we couldn’t compete with those players, and now we say “but he’s a high 3 star” or “stars don’t mean anything”. I’m not complaining about Stoops — great job getting any halfway decent player to look at UK after a 2-10 season and having the 14th ranked SEC team.

  31. E-town
    11:31 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Great pickup. But I agree with #8.

  32. PrestonKnowlesHairbrush
    11:42 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    This kid reminds me of VooDoo from the Friday Night Lights series. Kinda eery

  33. PrestonKnowlesHairbrush
    11:46 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Can we just go ahead and make “VooDoo” his official KSR nickname???

  34. KadizKat
    11:48 am January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t keep up with ratings but if this guy was a 3 star in high school, is it possible he’s developed in JC and is now better than some other players who were rated higher than him?

  35. mothy
    12:12 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Marlo Stanfield, come on down!

  36. mudcreekmark
    12:44 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    30) You are exactly right. If you go back and check the 5 star players from 5 or 6 years back you will recognize almost all their names because they are in the NFL. The lower the ratings the fewer names that you will have ever heard of. Of course there will be some guys that they miss on like Randal Cobb but they are few and far between. Having said that, we cannot expect for Stoops to come in on the end of the recruiting season and pick up a bunch of 4 and 5 star kids. They for the most part are already taken and the ones that aren’t, there just isn’t enough time to build relationships and build trust with these kids and their families.I think Stoops has done as well as anyone could have done given the circumstances.

  37. Stooped
    12:50 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    As to the 3* star debate. Vandy currently has 21 commits. Two of them are 4* per Rivals. 19 of them are 3*. Vandy has the #15 class per Rivals current rankings….that’s right, with 19 3* recruits. Two of UK’s 3* recruits on Rivals are actually 4* on ESPN – Javess Blue and Jaleel Hytchye….and Meadows, Peterson, Bell and Hytchye are all 5.7 3-stars…meaning if they got a bump to 5.8 they’d be 4-stars on Rivals – which is a possibility for all of them once the new rankings come out.

  38. BTI's high school golf coach
    1:23 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    as far as his ranking….you will rarely see a JUCO player a 5*, and very few a 4*, simply because they will be with a D1 team for two seasons at the most. Unless it is Cam Newton, that hurts how highly regarded they will be.

    Its better to look at offer sheets to see if a JUCO player is worth anything – and the ones we have gotten under Coach Stoops fit the bill.

  39. Bald Guy
    4:17 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Same ol haters… If this doesn’t get you excited you are the same folks wearing out the bleachers with your rears and we seriously do not need you to be at CWS… feel free to donate your money though. GO CATS!