A record-breaking number of NFL teams attended a pro day for quarterback Malik Willis, who has been touted as the best quarterback prospect in the country. What makes this event so unique is that it allowed players from other sports to participate and showed how more athletes could benefit from participating in collegiate athletics.,
Malik Willis is a quarterback prospect who has the potential to be drafted in the NFL. He brought his pro day to Liberty University, which is a first for any football player. Read more in detail here: malik willis.
LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA — At the Ninth Street Parlor, Ralph Wilson, popularly known as “Chopper,” just completed shaving and cutting Liberty University football coach Hugh Freeze. The 56-year-old barber wanted the coach to look extra fine for what he said was the most important day in the history of this town, which is best known as the home of television preacher Jerry Falwell Sr.
Maybe one day.
“Chopper remarked late Monday afternoon, “It’s going to explode.” “It’s going to blow!” MAAA-an, it’s going to blow!”
Chopper was referring to Liberty University’s pro day, which had escaped the NFL’s notice until Tuesday. Instead of the usual eight to ten scouts, who are barely enough to perform the huge variety of exercises, there will be 120 NFL coaches, scouts, and front office staff on campus.
Instead of one or two guys hoping to be picked late in the first round or undrafted, 19 will be on show.
All 32 NFL clubs will be represented, however some will have a larger presence than others. The Carolina Panthers, who have the No. 6 overall selection and are searching for a quarterback, will be there in force, as they were on Monday in Pittsburgh for quarterback Kenny Pickett, with general manager Scott Fitterer, head coach Matt Rhule, offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, and others.
The site, which is framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, will host live broadcasts from ESPN and NFL Network.
They’re all here because to one player: senior quarterback Malik Willis, whose never-before-seen skill has placed Liberty on the NFL map in ways few, if any, could have predicted.
The city manager has even phoned to offer help.
“Freeze remarked, “I don’t believe I can measure [what this day means].” “I simply know it’ll be massive.”
‘This is historic.’
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Before McCaw arrived in 2016, RGIII had never heard of Liberty, and even then, he didn’t give it any attention until Willis arrived as a transfer from Auburn in 2019.
“With a grin, Griffin added, “I thought Liberty was just some inscription on the Statue of Liberty.” “Because of Malik Willis, we’ve all learned more about it. Now the whole NFL community, as well as the rest of the globe, will be aware of it.”
Liberty football’s NFL liaison, Javon Hubbard, hopes so. He supervised the facility’s preparation and meticulously arranged every aspect for the arrival of the league’s “who’s who.”
In its existence, Liberty has only had one first-round pick: tight end Eric Green, who was selected 21st overall by Pittsburgh in 1990. Since that time, no player has been selected higher than the fourth round, and just three have been drafted at all.
Fortunately for Hubbard, the facilities are comparable to those of most big football teams, beginning with a state-of-the-art indoor facility where the majority of the exercises were conducted. So that was the easy part.
Drawing out a plan for a new home has been the remainder of the process. He’s gone from putting on the event with only a few members of the football team and the communications department to having the full athletic department at his disposal.
It’s all hands on deck right now. Despite the fact that the squad is in the midst of spring practice, all other football-related events for the day have been canceled.
Everyone wants to convey to individuals who have never visited campus that the football program and facilities here are superior to those in other parts of the country.
As a result, additional players with Willis’ skill may be persuaded to join Liberty.
“This is historic,” Hubbard remarked.
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In some respects, Freeze believes Tuesday’s class is greater than his 2016 Ole Miss class, which had three players selected in the first round: tackle Laremy Tunsil (No. 13), wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (23) and defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche (29).
That’s because Ole Miss was no stranger to first-round picks or even amazing storylines. The tale of left tackle Michael Oher, who was drafted No. 23 by Baltimore two years before, was made into a Hollywood smash in 2009 with the film “The Blind Side.”
But, because of his celebrity, Willis is bringing attention to a lot of other players who could have gone unnoticed if he hadn’t become a star.
“I took a photo [on Monday], not only with Malik but with all the other boys — some of them, I believe, are going to surprise some people and have a chance to go on teams and perform well,” Freeze added.
That was Willis’ approach in 2012, according to Griffin, who was Willis’ mentor at the NFL combine last month. Griffin stated he went to Baylor’s pro day to enhance the stock of others, not himself, as the Washington Commanders’ second overall choice that year.
“Griffin said, “Malik is doing it for the same purpose.” “He wants to highlight all of Liberty’s other athletes in order to convince NFL clubs that the school has potential.
“That means a lot to me because it indicates he understands.”
Impact on a large scale
For Liberty’s pro day, 120 NFL coaches, scouts, and front office officials are on campus, with standout quarterback Malik Willis expected to go last. Newton, David
Freeze hasn’t had much time to rest in the last month between spring practice and pro day preparation. Chopper spent approximately an hour and a half in his barber’s chair taking care of it.
“All he was doing was snoring,” he said.
Check-ins began at 9 a.m., followed by weight room testing at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
Willis, who led Liberty to a 17-6 record in two seasons while throwing for 5,107 yards and 47 touchdowns, was scheduled to perform at 1 p.m. so he wouldn’t steal the show too early.
On draft day, though, Willis, who is undersized at 6-foot and 225 pounds, will steal the show. The Panthers are considering him, just as they are considering Pickett.
After failing to complete a trade for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson last week, who selected the Cleveland Browns over the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers, they are looking for a franchise quarterback.
The New York Giants (Nos. 5 and 7) and the Atlanta Falcons (No. 8) are two more teams who might target a quarterback in the first round. Long-term quarterback issues plague the Seattle Seahawks (No. 9), Commanders (No. 11), Philadelphia Eagles (Nos. 15, 16, and 19), and Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 20).
Chopper and his clients attempt to predict where Willis will fall on a regular basis. They can’t wait to toast the opening round with a “very cold beer” at the Ninth Street Parlor’s opposite end.
Griffin feels that whomever chooses Willis will be getting a “unique talent” who can defeat you with his arm and legs, especially if protection fails. He feels the squad will also receive a unique player, recalling that Willis was shown on social media giving a homeless man a jersey from his bag while at the combine.
But, as Griffin pointed out, Tuesday was all about Willis and what he’s done for Liberty.
“‘This is going to be fantastic for this institution,’ he said. “For the next ten years, Liberty will reap the advantages of Malik Willis.”
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