The staff is once again looking to the JUCO ranks for some help in the secondary, this time at safety. One prospect they're focusing on is former Floridian Nate Willis, who's now at Arizona Western in Yuma.
The 6-foot-1, 180 pound prospect played wide receiver at Belle Glades High School in 9th and 10th grade, before transferring to Pahokee where he just played hoops and then after taking a year off went to Arizona Western.
"Thing s have been going well, I've been working on my foot work, man to man coverage, being more physical, and just more about the position, ," said Willis. "Last year was my first year playing corner, so I'm just learning all the little things to become better."
As a freshman this past season, Willis recorded 31 tackles with three interceptions and two pass break-ups. He also had a tackle for a loss and a forced fumble. Willis also scored off of a kick return. Not too bad for a guy who's been out of football for several years.
"I'd say my all around game. I can press, play off, tackle and I can come with a big play when needed," said Willis. "I have good size and speed (4.4), and can play almost any position on defense or offense. I'm smart and try to get better by watching film every day."
On the recruiting front, schools have taken notice as Willis has been adding offers. He received one from USF at the end of June and now has 10 including Kansas State, Iowa State, Kansas, Indiana, Mississippi State, Memphis, New Mexico, Louisiana-Lafayette, and South Alabama.
With a solid list of schools, Willis said he has a short list of three schools sticking out to him.
"Schools standing out are Iowa State, South Florida, and Mississippi State," said Willis. "They have been on me the hardest, showing me the most love and that they need me."
The Arizona Western cornerback talks about the top three schools in his list.
"South Florida is really good program with a good staff and is close to home, and my parents and family, I also have a teammate who's at South Florida now and really likes it."
"Iowa state, I feel like I can make an early impact, and the coaching staff is great. I also here they have really good facilities, and are on the rise."
"With Mississippi State, I know someone from the Pahokee area that went there and is on the Ravens right now and liked it. I also here they're short on defensive backs."
"We talk a lot and they said they love my film, think I'll make a big impact, and told me that I'll have to work hard to earn a position, but if I do I can do very well there," said Willis. "Most I already knew, but they told me about their schemes and how is similar to ours and just they seem like really good coaches, and all that stood out to me."
Being from Florida and knowing several players at USF, Willis is well aware of USF and has heard great things.
"I know a lot about USF because how close they are, and think it's a great school" said Willis. "I know a lot of kids that go there. One of my friends is Chris Dunkley from Pahokee goes there and really loves it. Everybody says the campus is beautiful and that they have really nice facilities also."
"The coaching staff is great, and they have a really good relationship with their players and that sticks out to me," said Willis. "It's really like a brotherhood over there."
The JUCO standout said he's about to begin the process of taken visits to check out the schools he's most interested in, with the first one coming up.
"I'm going to take my first unofficial visit to South Florida on the 19th of July," said Willis. "I'm really looking forward to checking it out and see what they have to offer."
Willis talks about what he's looking for when going on his visits.
"I want the coaches to be honest with me," said Willis. "Break down the depth chart and who I'm competing against, where I will be on the field, what my role will be, and how I can help the team become better."
"I'm looking at the coaching staff, and the depth chart, because I only have a few years to play," said Willis. "Also who will help me develop, get better and get to the next level."
"I don't mind competition and know that anywhere I go if I work hard I can become a starter," said Willis. "I actually feel that I can make an impact anywhere I go, and be like a first team all-American type player."
Stay tuned with USFNation.com as we keep you updated on Nate Willis's recruitment