The Kentucky Wildcats football team received some really good news today. JUCO cornerback Nate Willis received notice from the dean of Arizona Western Community College stating he has been declared eligible to transfer to Kentucky. Willis is set to be on campus as early as this week to add depth to one of Kentucky’s most depleted positions. The cornerback spot for Mark Stoops has been the biggest area of concern during fall practice. Adding Willis will give Kentucky another big body on defense they desperately need.
Nate Willis will immediately be relied on when he arrives in Lexington. Due to how thin the Wildcats are at his position, he will contend for a starting spot. Being able to come to Kentucky is going to be a reward for some really hard work Willis had to do in the classroom. Willis left his school to return home and focus on academics while trying to qualify. He would take online classes from the college while at his home in Florida. He spent the entire spring worried about becoming eligible. Now that he has the all-clear, I expect him to put it some hard work on the football field.
Rated as one of the Top-50 junior college players in the country last season, Willis signed with the Wildcats after the hire of new coach Mark Stoops. Willis will become an instant impact with his experience against good competition. Stoops made extraordinary efforts to recruit his roots in Ohio and keep the best in-state talent away from rival schools. He also searched in the JUCO ranks for the best available talent. The addition of Willis will ease a lot of worry on the defensive side of the ball.
The biggest concerns for Nate Willis will be getting into football shape. He will need to hit the gym really hard, and focus on catching up to his other teammates. Kentucky has already been in practice for a week, but Arizona Western’s head coach told a Lexington paper that Willis can pick up things really quick. He’ll need to get a little bigger in the weight room and Kentucky has an answer for that in “High Performance” coach Erik Korem. When it comes to his diet and his weight training, Korem will provide the tools necessary for Willis to be an elite SEC corner.
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops said he expected defensive tackle Melvin Lewis to be eligible for Kentucky after finishing one more class at Fullerton College in California. On Sunday night, the team Twitter account for Fullerton announced that Lewis has finished his degree and will be eligible to transfer to Kentucky. The 6-foot-4, 320 pound lineman had offers from Miami and Washington before committing to the ‘Cats. Both Lewis and Willis will have two years of eligibility remaining.