Auburn quarterback Malik Willis is transferring to Liberty, as reported by Benjamin Wolk.
Former Auburn quarterback Malik Willis has decided to transfer to Liberty, his father told me. Hugh Freeze found his quarterback. Willis will file a waiver for immediate eligibility. He has two years left to play.
— Benjamin Wolk (@benjaminwolk) July 9, 2019
As ASOR first reported last month, Willis visited Liberty and was considering the Flames and Troy. If the NCAA does not approve his waiver, Willis would have to sit out the 2019 season due to NCAA transfer requirements and then he will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
A 3-star dual-threat prospect out of high school, Willis was the Tigers’ backup QB during his true freshman and sophomore seasons. The 6’1”, 195 pound native of Roswell High School and Atlanta, Georgia, Willis played in 15 games at Auburn, throwing for 69 yards and 1 touchdown while also rushing for 309 yards and 2 touchdowns. Willis saw playing time against the Flames in Auburn’s win over Liberty this past season, even rushing for a 16-yard score.
He entered the transfer portal in May after losing the competition to replace Jarrett Stidham as Auburn’s starting quarterback this season to redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood and true freshman Bo Nix. Willis was once thought to be Stidham’s heir apparent. He didn’t start playing quarterback until his senior season in high school, a season where he passed for 2,562 yards, rushed for 1,033 yards, and had 37 total touchdowns while leading Roswell to a Class 7A state runner-up finish.
If Willis receives a waiver, he will compete with Buckshot Calvert for reps this season and true freshman Johnathan Bennett as 2nd-string. Coach Freeze has been adamant about needing additional depth across the roster, and this addition certainly helps the case at quarterback.
“I love coach Freeze, love his offense and feel like this is the best place for me to showcase my ability to throw the football,” Willis told ESPN. “Everywhere coach Freeze has been, his teams have thrown for a lot of yards and put up big numbers. Plus, when you look at all of the Power 5 schools on Liberty’s schedule the next few years, that’s the caliber of talent I want to play against. I wanted to put myself in the best position I could, and Liberty gives me the chance to do that.”
Willis originally committed to Virginia Tech out of high school before switching to Auburn. He was ranked by ESPN as the 59th best athlete nationally in the 2017 signing class.