Most schools recruited Willis as an athlete and not as a quarterback as a high school recruit. In 2016, Willis committed to Virginia Tech as an athlete, and the program planned to transition him to play defensive back. After some thought about his future, Willis decided to de-commit, believing in his ability to play QB. He searched for a school that would afford him a chance to play QB. The school he chose would be Auburn under then-head coach Gus Malzahn.
While at Auburn, Willis would start his career as the backup behind Jarrett Stidham in 2017-18, only seeing the field for spot duty. In 2019, after Stidham departed for the NFL, Willis was poised to take over as the starter for the Tigers but would inevitably lose out to Bo Nix. That is when Willis decided to transfer to Liberty, where he would sit out the 2019 season under the transfer rules before taking over as the Flames starter in 2020 and 2021.
Malik Willis has all the tools and is a confident leader. He has a cannon for an arm but lacks touch at the short and intermediate areas of the football field. Upon entering the NFL, his greatest asset will be his mobility, a trait he can rely on while developing other critical skills as a passer. Willis can provide a Lamar Jackson style of play as both a runner and a passer, forcing defenses to defend all eleven. He will benefit early in his career by playing in an offense that uses RPO and zone-read concepts.
PLAYSTYLE & SCHEME FIT