On Tuesday, Liberty quarterback Malik Willis, wide receiver Kevin Shaa, and tight end Johnny Huntley took questions from the media. There was a wide range questions and below is ASOR’s report from the player interviews…
HUNTLEY ADDED WEIGHT LEADS TO INCREASED PRODUCTION
Liberty tight end Johnny Huntley has scored a touchdown in three straight games as he’s tied for the team lead with 3 touchdown receptions this season to go along with his 11 receptions for 143 yards. He moved to the tight end position from wide receiver shortly after Hugh Freeze and the new staff took over.
“Over the offseason, I put on like 20-25 pounds,” Huntley said. “So now, I can bang with the bigger guys.”
His production is just a part of what the tight end room has been able to accomplish this season. Huntley is one of three tight ends that have reached the end zone in 2020. He says Malik’s ability with his legs gives the tight ends a lot more space.
“Linebackers, d-ends, have to make sure they keep their eyes on (Malik),” he said. “That just gives us a little wiggle room for the tight ends in the flat.”
FLAMES TRYING TO GO 1-0 EACH WEEK
It is typical to hear players and coaches talk about going 1-0 each week, and that is something that has become routine among the Flames this season. But Liberty has actually backed that up through the first eight games of the season. That line of thought continued to be a theme on Tuesday.
“We just try to go 1-0 every week,” said Huntley. “We don’t look at what team we’re playing. We’re going to come with the same intensity every week. Even our coaches, no matter what team we’re playing, they give us speeches that we’re going to treat every team like it’s an ACC team. It doesn’t matter, we’re going to come to play every week no matter who it is.”
Kevin Shaa had the same thoughts: “We want to go 1-0 every week. We’re not thinking about the past or the future. We want to take it one game at a time.”
WILLIS TALKS ABOUT THE HEISMAN
Malik Willis continues to get talk from national pundits about his Heisman Trophy possibilities as a dark-horse candidate. Of course, the Flames must continue to win and he must continue to play at an extremely high level to remain in those conversations. He was asked about the Heisman Trophy discussion on Tuesday:
“I don’t really worry too much about that type of stuff,” he said. “I take the blessings God sends me to even be mentioned in that type of stuff, but that’s not my main priority. My main priority is going out there and trying to win games, that’s the main thing. Awards, they’re cool, but I’m about the team. I’m about us winning. The Heisman, that doesn’t win you games. That meas you were a spectacular player and that’s really cool to be looked up to in, but I want to win games more than I want trophies and stuff.”
WILLIS APPRECIATES FREEZE’S CONFIDENCE IN HIM
Hugh Freeze has repeatedly talked about how he has confidence in Malik Willis as his quarterback. Even when he has made poor decisions or hurts the team with injuries, Freeze is quick to stand by him. Willis has taken note.
“When you know your coach is behind you, it gives you an extra boost of confidence,” said Willis. “It’s not like a confidence of we beat ACC teams or we’re undefeated, it’s that confidence of my coach really thinks I can execute what we do. So, let’s go out there and do it. He has the faith in me to go out there and do it, so let’s do it.”