Posted by Chip Patterson
Highly touted defensive tackle Brandon Willis has made more headlines than most of the Class of 2010, and he has yet to play a snap. Multiple media outlets, including the Los Angeles Daily News and InsideCarolina.com, are reporting that the Tar Heel transfer has been given his release from UCLA, and will be returning to North Carolina.
“My grandmother (is very ill),” Willis told Inside Carolina on Monday. “So everybody is trying to get as close as possible to be near her. “I wouldn’t go to any other school except for UNC, because I have a good relationship with Coach Butch Davis.”
Willis originally was a verbal commitment to Tennessee with plans to enroll in January 2010. But when Lane Kiffin bolted for Southern California, Davis and Co. convinced Willis his place would be at UNC. However, his father's unemployment situation forced a move to California - and prompted the hasty transfer to UCLA.
Now, with his grandmother in poor health, the entire family plans to relocate back to the Carolinas. When his father's employment forced the move to UCLA, Willis left North Carolina on good terms with Butch Davis. Now, that relationship will pay off in another talented body on the defensive line.
Willis is applying for an NCAA waiver to allow him to play right away, due to the circumstantial situation. Whether the waiver is granted or not, Willis plans to enroll back into UNC for the first summer session in May.