Former UT commitment Willis leaves North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina coach Butch Davis says freshman defensive tackle Brandon Willis is withdrawing from school.

The Los Angeles Tines reported that the 6-foot-3, 255-pound Willis will transfer to UCLA.

Davis said the family informed the coaches Thursday. Willis' father, Gary, recently found work in California and wants to keep the family together.

Willis was a four-star prospect who committed to Lane Kiffin at Tennessee, but he switched to the Tar Heels after Kiffin left for Southern California.

Willis appeared in a well-documented photo along with Byrnes High School teammate and UT signee Corey Miller taken with two members of Orange Pride after a game last September in Duncan, S.C.

Davis says he hasn't decided whether to grant Willis a release from his scholarship, which would allow him to play right away.

Willis' departure cuts into North Carolina's depth on the defensive line. The Tar Heels are still waiting to find out the status of star tackle Marvin Austin, who is at the center of an NCAA investigation.

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Comments » 57

281Vol writes:

We need to grow a pair and play North Carolina

Bigger_Al writes:

Too late. We are already embarrassed.

kdaff51 writes:

in response to 281Vol:

We need to grow a pair and play North Carolina

WE need to forget about Lane Kiffin!

tnsportsman writes:

Willis at least you are going to UCLA instead of PROBATION U (USC) Glad you don't want to come to UT, we need committed players, See ya!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

stevefrommemphis writes:

Too bad he's not transferring to Buffalo. Then he could play against Tennessee.

VolsAllTheWay writes:

Does this make UNC weak enough to go ahead and play them now?

mountainbrook writes:

I guess TN is fortunate that he did not come to play there since he would be leaving TN instead of UNC right now.

tdrb42 writes:

Is the Los Angeles Tines like an offshoot of the LA Times or what?

FWBVol writes:

Let me get this straight, California has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and a guy living in North Carolina with a son that happens to be a stud football player, lands a job in California. Maybe Gary Willis really is qualified for whatever the job is, but it seems a bit fishy.

If Brandon Willis ends up at USC you can bet there will be another NCAA investigation.

VolzInTheHood writes:

Glad he isn't transfering from UT. Well, about to hit the sack and Lacey wants to tuck me into all this UT money USC doesn't have. Good Night.

kevin151 writes:

kid is trouble, no loss

armyvol22 writes:

Another reason NOT to drop them from our schedule.

HtownVol writes:

This guy looks for attention.

Isnt this the 4th or 5th team he has commited to?

pomp_and_circumstance writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Digital5000 writes:

UCLA? Where did that come from?

-Enjoy Yourselves; Mr. Willis is

Ironcity writes:

in response to bartlett79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did you even read the article?

Vol86 writes:

Do we get our $750,000 back. Now with there lack of depth at dl they do not want to play us.

Voluvr writes:

We could have used him at DT. Doubtful Davis would release him to Tennessee. ANOTHER THING...those making fun of dropping UNC don't know your business. That was wisdom.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to stevefrommemphis:

Too bad he's not transferring to Buffalo. Then he could play against Tennessee.

says the guy from memphis high

BigBadVol writes:

Will you morons quit with the assertion UT is afraid to play NC. None of you have any idea why UT is canceling the series.

bigorange61 writes:

This article suggests that Davis can let him out of his scholarship so he can play right away.

I saw an article elsewhere that said since he had enrolled in classes, he would have to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules.

So what would a release do for him? Am I missing something?

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to 281Vol:

We need to grow a pair and play North Carolina

A million times agree....it sickens me. Damn, I'm not a fan of UT because we avoid tough games or unfavorable times. I'm a fan because we do home and aways with UCLA, Oregon, Notre Dame....

ALL_VOL75 writes:

in response to bigorange61:

This article suggests that Davis can let him out of his scholarship so he can play right away.

I saw an article elsewhere that said since he had enrolled in classes, he would have to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules.

So what would a release do for him? Am I missing something?

he has until the drop add period is up at UCLA to change without penalty

281Vol writes:

in response to BigBadVol:

Will you morons quit with the assertion UT is afraid to play NC. None of you have any idea why UT is canceling the series.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

jack_2222#231746 writes:

in response to VolsAllTheWay:

Does this make UNC weak enough to go ahead and play them now?

Probably not- better stick with Buffalo unless UTC has got an open date.

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to bigorange61:

This article suggests that Davis can let him out of his scholarship so he can play right away.

I saw an article elsewhere that said since he had enrolled in classes, he would have to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules.

So what would a release do for him? Am I missing something?

It's my understanding (and I am not an expert) that he will have to sit out a year with or without the release. However, with a release, his new school could put him on scholarship right away. Without a release, he would have to pay his own way. Is that correct? Anybody with more knowledge care to weigh in?

vol98champ writes:

in response to Lostvolinhighweeds:

It's my understanding (and I am not an expert) that he will have to sit out a year with or without the release. However, with a release, his new school could put him on scholarship right away. Without a release, he would have to pay his own way. Is that correct? Anybody with more knowledge care to weigh in?

On topic and probably right on in thought.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

It seems like every year the doldrums go crazy.

Can we just get on to the Ducks so the picture will clear?

A lot...

stevefrommemphis writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

says the guy from memphis high

No, sir, I am an East Tennessean who had to live down there for 20+ years as a result of my job. But now I am finally living back in East Tennessee. Read my past posts over the years, and you will see that I am a Tennessee fan who has attended about 250 UT games in person over the years. I am just disgusted by the pathetic decision to drop Carolina from the schedule.

VOLinAthensGA writes:

Great News, NOW can we play them Mr. Mikey? PPPPPLLLEEEEAAASSSSEEEEEEE

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Lostvolinhighweeds:

It's my understanding (and I am not an expert) that he will have to sit out a year with or without the release. However, with a release, his new school could put him on scholarship right away. Without a release, he would have to pay his own way. Is that correct? Anybody with more knowledge care to weigh in?

If you remember, Orgeron advised players not to go to class in January in order to be able to switch later. I'm guessing that if he has not set foot in class yet (regardless of being enrolled) he can transfer and play immediately. Caveat: If not released, no play for a year and has to pay his own way.

I'm not sure of Butch Davis' reasoning for not releasing though. If something dirty is going on, it is not on his plate and is already on someone elses.

Exfix writes:

in response to BigBadVol:

Will you morons quit with the assertion UT is afraid to play NC. None of you have any idea why UT is canceling the series.

If you will recall, that was basically the reason Mike Hamilton gave for canceling the series during rebuilding years. Since that excuse is even lamer and dumber than saying "We are looking for more revenue" or "Buffalo's team smells better," I am assuming MH is telling the truth.

martinvol34 writes:

in response to HtownVol:

This guy looks for attention.

Isnt this the 4th or 5th team he has commited to?

It's not the kid. It's the father. He's the flake!

murrayvol writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Let me get this straight, California has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and a guy living in North Carolina with a son that happens to be a stud football player, lands a job in California. Maybe Gary Willis really is qualified for whatever the job is, but it seems a bit fishy.

If Brandon Willis ends up at USC you can bet there will be another NCAA investigation.

With all respect FWB, this is in the eye of the beholder. Wouldn't seem so fishy to me if Gary had landed a job in Knoxville.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Lostvolinhighweeds:

It's my understanding (and I am not an expert) that he will have to sit out a year with or without the release. However, with a release, his new school could put him on scholarship right away. Without a release, he would have to pay his own way. Is that correct? Anybody with more knowledge care to weigh in?

I think you're right.

murrayvol writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

It seems like every year the doldrums go crazy.

Can we just get on to the Ducks so the picture will clear?

A lot...

Not crazy....just a half bubble off plumb.

MarbleCitySon writes:

in response to 281Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

National perception?! We are currently not even a blip on the national scene right now. No one outside of Tennessee and the 30 something UNC fans care about this issue.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Not crazy....just a half bubble off plumb.

True.

Wish him luck wherever he lands.

VOLliven2it writes:

Man, I am deathly tired of all the Leavers this year! Are we living in the time of a bunch of wimps and babies? I do not get it. In any event, I am glad this dude is not another blight for the Vols to watch walk out.

mercyseat writes:

brandon willis pulled this phooey on us too, remember? he said he may end up in florida or miami because his dad was being transfered down there. look out UCLA! you maybe getting a little trouble maker on your roster!...Sweet dreams!!!

GreerVol22 writes:

Bull hockey. Word on the street here in South Carolina....and I quote a friend on this is..."that his Dad is a gold diggin ba$tard." He was chasing money at UT, chasing at Chapel Hill, and now Slick Rick probably has him lined up with the best janitorial job in Southern California....it ain't about keeping the family together....it is about the retirement plan of said father.

givehim6 writes:

in response to VolsAllTheWay:

Does this make UNC weak enough to go ahead and play them now?

HAHAHA, just what I was thanking, I'M afraid the damage to UT's reputation it already done.

mrvol2u writes:

in response to always_vol:

A million times agree....it sickens me. Damn, I'm not a fan of UT because we avoid tough games or unfavorable times. I'm a fan because we do home and aways with UCLA, Oregon, Notre Dame....

Mine are intact and I say forget UNC and take the 2.25 mill and play whoever. Maybe you BOYS should grow a pair and stop worrying about insignificant schedule changes.

I bet you do not go on the UNC site and see them worrying about being scared to play us in basketball. You know they refuse to play us? Did you know Dean Smith tried to keep coaches from taking the UT basketball job by telling them it was not a good job and then after retiring telling Buz it was OK?

Forget UNC, forget all you whimpering naysayers who are so hung-up on this insignificant schedule change.

GO VOLS!!!!

uclafan writes:

I am sorry hearing about Steve DeLong.
The Brandon Willis story: He plans to go to UCLA...there was no mention of him going to USC.
I hope you guys have a good season at UT. I have been following your blog ever since you gave another UCLA fan your Southern Hospitality when he went to Tn to see a UT game. You guys got him tickets to the game, took him out to eat and got him hooked up with a place to stay. You all were very polite. Best of luck this year.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to uclafan:

I am sorry hearing about Steve DeLong.
The Brandon Willis story: He plans to go to UCLA...there was no mention of him going to USC.
I hope you guys have a good season at UT. I have been following your blog ever since you gave another UCLA fan your Southern Hospitality when he went to Tn to see a UT game. You guys got him tickets to the game, took him out to eat and got him hooked up with a place to stay. You all were very polite. Best of luck this year.

Thanks for the compliment. Most people find out that the "southern hospitality" aspect is genuine in most cases.
Best of luck your team as well. Hope you destroy your cross-town rivals.

Crutch writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

If you remember, Orgeron advised players not to go to class in January in order to be able to switch later. I'm guessing that if he has not set foot in class yet (regardless of being enrolled) he can transfer and play immediately. Caveat: If not released, no play for a year and has to pay his own way.

I'm not sure of Butch Davis' reasoning for not releasing though. If something dirty is going on, it is not on his plate and is already on someone elses.

Word is that he enrolled in January and has been taking classes. The previous post is correct. If he is released he can accept a scholarship right away and not have to pay his way while he is sitting out. He can not play one way or another unless there was a hardship approved by the NCAA which does not apply in this circumstance.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to BigBadVol:

Will you morons quit with the assertion UT is afraid to play NC. None of you have any idea why UT is canceling the series.

You're right, most of us don't know why the Vols want to cancel the series. And that's the problem...

The perception is the Vols don't want or need a tough game against a quality team with all the other games already on the schedule. If that's not the reason, the truth needs to be told because the fans deserve to know the truth. If that is the reason, it's a shame because to be the best you have to play and beat the best. Hamilton needs to man up and honor the contract or give the reasons why the Vols can't play Carolina...now.

GBO33 writes:

in response to 281Vol:

We need to grow a pair and play North Carolina

YOU GOT THAT RIGHT

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to uclafan:

I am sorry hearing about Steve DeLong.
The Brandon Willis story: He plans to go to UCLA...there was no mention of him going to USC.
I hope you guys have a good season at UT. I have been following your blog ever since you gave another UCLA fan your Southern Hospitality when he went to Tn to see a UT game. You guys got him tickets to the game, took him out to eat and got him hooked up with a place to stay. You all were very polite. Best of luck this year.

Thanks for the kind words uclafan.

Good luck to the Bruins this season. It was tough losing to you in 2008 and 2009, but it won't be hard rooting for you against your crosstown rival. Anything your school can do to make Kiffin's life hell will be welcomed by Vols fans nationwide.

Psychovol writes:

Hammy's a moron. This was 2-W's over the next 2 years. I hope DD didn't have anything to do with this or we're in big trouble.

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