Malik Willis on playing at Liberty: Football’s football, too much focus on school size

LendingTree Bowl - Liberty v Eastern Michigan
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Malik Willis started his college days at Auburn, but he didn’t play much over his first two seasons at the SEC school and decided to transfer to Liberty to finish out his time in school.

That proved to be a wise call for Willis. He threw for 5,117 yards and 47 touchdowns while running for 1,822 yards and 27 touchdowns in two years as the school’s starter, which helped make him one of the top draft prospects at the position this year.

Liberty doesn’t play the SEC schedule that Auburn plays and that’s led some to downplay Willis’ success as a byproduct of the competition that he faced the last couple of years. While at the Senior Bowl, Willis took issue with that critique.

“Football’s football, you’ve got to come out and play,” Willis said, via Darin Gantt of the Panthers website. “Y’all do us dirty because we’re a little small school, but football’s football. They work out every day, we work out every day. Our schedules when I was at Auburn and Liberty are pretty much the same. Y’all focus on that a little too much, in my opinion. It’s just more people at the game.”

Willis’ arm strength and athletic ability have many fans, which will make convincing interested teams that he’s able to handle the transition to the NFL his biggest task in the coming months.

12 responses to “Malik Willis on playing at Liberty: Football’s football, too much focus on school size

  1. I agree with him fully. I mean, people pooh-pooh’d Carson Wentz because of where he went to school, and while he went downhill spectacularly in the past few years, he’s shown that he had the ability to play in the NFL and play well with essentially an MVP season. Compare that with someone like Tua who DID play in the SEC and played very well in the SEC and hasn’t proven a thing in the NFL.

    Greg McElroy had better college numbers than Matt Ryan did… and how did that turn out?

  2. To bad thats not true…. the level of competition makes the best qbs better than the rest… Forged by fire… If it were just football, Top QB talent should not be so rare to find!

  3. The criticism is well deserved the their is a major difference in competition, and schemes he can put some of that concern to rest at the senior bowl.

  4. He seems like a very down-to-earth young man. He has superior raw talent, and all the pros who have interacted with him say he has a high football IQ and is very coachable. Needs a year or so behind a starting NFL QB. What more could you ask for?

  5. This is absolutely an insane comment that football is football. If it truly was then why wouldn’t Liberty be playing against SEC and Big 10 teams and winning all the time…Why you ask. It’s simply the level of competition. There are better players at the SEC and big 10 than a school like Liberty.

  6. I Think he will notice the difference once he has Nick Bosa or TJ Watt chasing (and catching) him

  7. Played one quality opponent this year. Olé Miss. 3 INTs. Most scouting reports note mechanical issues. Needs to go somewhere where he can sit and learn. Not day one starter

  8. I was top tier talent coming out of high school in the midwest, was bottom tier playing college football in texas – it matters where you play, who you play – sorry, boss

  9. Just the fact that he believes that should downgrade him in the draft. Liberty would lose to my old high school.

  10. There is a reason so few HOF QBs played for small schools. It’s hard to succeed in the NFL.

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