The departure of a defensive lineman, albeit a former blue-chip recruit, would be cause for no great stir when the team is UCLA and the player just came off a redshirt season, but this is Brandon Willis we're talking about. His career trajectory has resembled nothing so much as that of a tin windup mouse, all spinning and darting with no destination. Our best stab at tracking him from coast to coast over the past fifteen months follows:
• January 2010. Willis commits to Tennessee a month ahead of National Signing Day in a flourish of hats.
• January 2010. Days later, Willis decommits from Tennessee following the flight of Lane Kiffin, withstands the advances of Ed Orgeron, and commits to North Carolina instead.
• August 2010. After enrolling early at UNC, Willis leaves the Tar Heels during fall camp, and lights out for UCLA, citing family considerations.
• March 2011. After burning his redshirt year on the bench in Westwood, Willis has left the Bruins and may be headed back to Carolina.
Everybody got that? Hey, why are your eyes spinning with little cartoon spirals in them?