Priest’s New Friendship Could Result in Divine Defensive Duo

By at May 5, 2012 | 6:00 AM | Print

Priest’s New Friendship Could Result in Divine Defensive Duo

There appeared to be a good chance of Rancho Cucamonga High School teammates Chris Hawkins and Tahaan Goodman playing together at a major BCS school. Hawkins committed to Southern California, but Goodman hasn’t followed. To make things even more interesting, there’s now a third name in the picture.

While Hawkins and Goodman share a bond as teammates in high school, Priest Willis and Goodman have formed a strong friendship during the offseason and plan on attending the same college together at this point.

The two were part of B2G Sports’ 2012 New Level Athletics Elite 7-on-7 tournament in Las Vegas. Willis was impressed at his newfound friend’s abilities.

“They tried throwing at Tahaan, but he picked them off at least five or six times,” Willis said. He didn’t have many opportunities for interceptions himself as the opposition wasn’t interested in testing the Tempe, Arizona native.

Willis and Goodman share amazing athletic ability, but their personalities are also strikingly similar.

“He’s aggressive at safety and I’m just aggressive at anything I do. We stay hungry on the field. We both see what we want and go for it.”

The similar personality traits also extend beyond the football field. “We joke around the same, it’s crazy,” Willis said laughing.

It’s only May, but the heat is already starting to build as programs across the country put together their gameplans to garner the commitment of one of the nation’s best defensive backs.

Willis mentioned that a number of west coast schools have been getting in contact with him along with LSU and Alabama. Oregon appears to be stepping up their efforts as well.

This shouldn’t scare off too many Husker fans from thinking that there is no chance of Willis one day becoming a Blackshirt. In fact, both he and Goodman are looking to visit during either the Wisconsin or Michigan game. Beyond his visit plans, Willis has been impressed with how Nebraska’s coaches have presented themselves.

“Coach Brown stopped by last week and [John Papuchis] stopped by this week. I think they’re great, character men. You couldn’t ask for a better staff that wants character players,” he said.

He also knows that Nebraska secondary coach Terry Joseph will be ready to welcome him with open arms when he visits. “I know he’s a good coach. He’s putting a lot of great players in the league. I know he loves me. He was here watching me play and he was just amazed.”

Ultimately, the highly-coveted defensive back’s visit will be to find out just what makes the Huskers unique.

“I just wish I could get to know them better. That’s why I’m [visiting] Nebraska, to get to know their staff.”

In regards to picking a current favorite or even charting a list of top schools, Willis remains in no hurry. “I’m just trying to take this process slow because it’s a once in a lifetime thing. I’ve worked really hard and I just want to sit back and enjoy this process.”

He current plans to announce his decision at the Under Armour All-America Game, though obviously plans can change if the right school comes along.

Willis’ resume is impressive, but for him, there’s no time to sit and admire what he’s done so far. “I still have to play my senior year. These offers are cool, but I still have to prove myself, so I have to be working hard.”

Finally, the state of Nebraska’s recently experienced some wild weather from rains that cancelled the annual Spring Game to recent near-summer heat. Will location or weather factor into Willis’ decision?

“I’m just trying to play some football.”

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