One of the top players in the Southwest region, 2013 Tempe (AZ) Marcos De Niza cornerback Priest Willis is a massive prospect for his position at 6-2 and 200 pounds, which is fitting since he's also wanted by some of the largest programs in the country.
Holding at least 24 offers from a veritable who's who of college football, Willis is rated as a five-star prospect by 247Sports and a top-30 player nationally by that service's composite rankings, as well as among the five best players at his position.
About two weeks ago,Arizona Republic writer Richard Obert tweeted the following about Willis:
Marcos de Niza senior DB Priest Willis told me will go to Alabama at LSU game in November and hopes to get to Stanford at Notre Dame game.— Richard Obert (@azc_obert) September 21, 2012
Marcos de Niza DB Priest Willis said he also hopes to take an unofficial out to Washington. Notre Dame, LSU, Washington appear to be faves.— Richard Obert (@azc_obert) September 21, 2012
Since then, it appears that Willis has firmed up this plans, as his 247Sports profile lists official visits scheduled to Notre Dame on October 12th, Nebraska October 26th, and LSU on November 2nd, leaving him two paid trips remaining.
Rivals analyst Rob Cassidy wrote several days ago that he believes Willis' stepfather will play a major role in his recruitment ($):
Who's calling the shots in Priest Willis' recruitment? The answer to that question, elusive as it is, might just determine where the four-star cornerback lands. Word is that Willis' family, particularly his stepfather, would like the celebrated defensive back to stay close to home and attend either UCLA or Arizona State. Willis, however, seems most intrigued by LSU.
If Willis were making his decision in a vacuum, the smart money would be on the Tigers. Problem is: he's not. His family will have a giant say in where he ends up, meaning UCLA and Arizona State will be involved until the end.
UCLA received a visit back in early September, but Arizona State has not recently, and the above excerpt doesn't mention another school close to home -- Arizona, which Willis visited last weekend.
So, will proximity end up keeping schools like LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Washington from having a strong shot at the big, athletic cornerback, despite Obert's recent thoughts?
Publicly, Willis hasn't narrowed his list past 15 schools and doesn't say much in interviews, claiming that he's taking the recruiting process week by week. As a result, making any guesses about his future destination is a difficult task.