Brandon Willis wants is now a senior Cornerback and Wide Receiver at Gilman School in Baltimore, Maryland. He wants much more success not only for his team but for the DMV recruiting pipeline.
“Originally born in [Washington] D.C. and lived in the Bowie area for a little bit and then moved to Howard County not to long ago. It has really been a big part of my life. The majority of my family is from the DMV and it’s pretty much what I know,” he said. “All my family and friends are here. So growing up, it’s pretty much what inspired me to go to the next level. Seeing DMV football go to the next level and become the national powerhouse that Florida [is].”
Brandon Willis is playing football for his family. He wants to give back to his parents who have been very supportive of him.
“Growing up I would say probably my father. He was an athlete himself and he’s really hard working, inspirational and things like that. So I try to develop that into my own character traits,” Willis said about his father’s impact on him.
Willis realized he had talent to play football when he was seven or eight years old. After playing flag football when he was six, things took off for him two years later.
“…I was dominating competition and coaches were asking me to come play for their teams and things like that so I was like ‘yeah, this something I’m really good at and I enjoy doing this,’” he said.
His recruiting process is going well, Willis said. Navy is his only offer thus far but he has received interest from Ivy League schools, Army, Air Force and Monmouth.
“…Schools have been coming by to visit, I’ve been to junior days and things of that nature just taking it all in and enjoying the process. It has been really fun going to different schools and things like that.”
He really likes the coaches and atmosphere at Navy, the city aspect that Columbia University has to offer in addition to Dartmouth and Rutgers.
“When I go on a visit I’m looking for the brotherhood family aspect with the players and also mentorship and relationship between coaches and players. How they interact and how they get along and things of that nature. When I decide to commit to a school, I’ll make sure I find the best fit and place for me.”
Brandon Willis shows great ability to be cover wide receivers in man coverage, his ball skills are impressive and as a wide receiver, his speed, route running and hands stand out most on film.
“Definitely I would say my coverage skills. From playing corner, I also play receiver so I can figure out what the route is, figure out the stem and things of that nature,” Willis said about the best parts of his game. “Playing receiver myself, tracking receivers and knowing what they’re going to do next and anticipating their next move. I think that’s my best asset,” Willis said about what are the best parts of his game.
Where he needs to improve is coming downhill faster in run coverage, getting out of his breaks faster when running routes and recognizing run and pass plays on defense.
Gilman School Head Football Coach Tim Holley said that Brandon Willis is going to need to do more of the same in terms of being a significant contributor for the Gilman Greyhounds. Holley believes he’s a senior leader as a returning starter and three year Varsity player. He’s capable of proving that, Holley said.
“I’ve watched him develop, he’s a great kid. He’s a quiet leader, he’s not a rah-rah guy but he is a guy the other kids look up to and he’s a very hard working guy. He’s been recruited by a lot of the Ivy’s and the Patriot League and the academies,” Holley said about Willis’ growth as a player. “The Naval Academy has already offered him because they see him not only as a football leader but as a military officer beyond his playing days so he’s going to be the kind of guy we’re going to need to give us a lot of strength and support on and off the field.”
Brandon Willis wants to be an All-Metro selection, have at least six interceptions and win a league championship.
“After I’m done playing football at Gilman, I think I’ll miss the summer moments with the team bonding after conditioning [workouts]. We’re all tired and just bonding, talking, lifting weights and all that stuff. I’ll miss that the most,” he said. “What I want to leave is a [hard working] mentality to try to get the underclassmen to buy in to process and work as hard as well. The upperclassmen, when I was a freshman, paved the way for me. I want to do the same for the underclassmen.”