Among the standout underclassmen at the Grassroots combine this past weekend was Class of 2021’s Aaron Willis. Willis is a bruising runner who enjoys running downhill and blowing through tacklers from the fullback position.
Standing at 6’0, 175 pounds, he plays with a physicality that is important for any hard-nosed back. His aggressive running style was on display at the combine especially during the individual position drills. He participated in drills with the running backs and had a great performance.
During the defensive position drills Willis worked in at linebacker, where he showed nice technique and good instincts moving after the ball. Willis enjoys playing both fullback and linebacker, but ultimately thinks linebacker is the best spot for him. “I prefer linebacker because I have very good instincts of where the ball is at all times,” he said.
Check out some of his highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpHTWdDjrMc
After looking through his film, it’s easy to see why Willis enjoys hunting down opposing ball carriers. He doesn’t appear to get fooled easily by misdirection plays or over run the play too often. He stays home while anticipating which direction the ball carrier is going, then quickly hustles to make a play on the ball.
If you let him tell it, tackling is among his favorite hobbies. “I love to tackle! When I make eye contact with the ball I just follow it until I bring the player down,” Willis said.
“My goal is to keep the other team from scoring and that is what I set out to do every time I get on the field.”
Willis was among the best underclassmen at the Grassroots combine, but still thought he could have performed better. “I think I did good but not great. I could definitely improve on my speed and my strength, which are two things I concentrated on during the Winter break,” Willis said.
“I really enjoyed the mini camp because we got to do drills specific to our positions. I think I really did well during those drills.”
With his size, physicality, and good football instincts Willis is already an impressive young athlete. It will only take some minor tweaks as he looks to brush up his game. “I want to improve on getting stronger and building more muscle,” Willis said.
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