Eastern Wake: Sports

Knightdale’s Andre Willis to play QB at St. Augustine’s University

Knightdale quarterback Andre Willis signs to play football at St. Augustine’s University in the presence of his parents (seated) Sonyas and Alonzo Willis and (standing, from left) assistant coach Stephen Larkins, coach Cedric Dargan, assistant coach Leon Parker and brother Alonzo Willis in the media center at the school in Knightdale, N.C. Tuesday, March 8, 2016.
Knightdale quarterback Andre Willis signs to play football at St. Augustine’s University in the presence of his parents (seated) Sonyas and Alonzo Willis and (standing, from left) assistant coach Stephen Larkins, coach Cedric Dargan, assistant coach Leon Parker and brother Alonzo Willis in the media center at the school in Knightdale, N.C. Tuesday, March 8, 2016. amoody@newsobserver.com

Parents: Alonzo and Sonyas Willis

Height, Weight: 6-foot-1, 180 pounds

High School: Knightdale

Position: Quarterback

Also Considered: Other schools for basketball, but not football

Why Mars Hill? “They were the first school to actually come at me hard and put everything they had into me, with phone calls saying they wanted me to play there now.” Andre expects to start as a freshman with an understanding he’ll have to fight to keep that position.

Major: Criminal Justice

Notable: Andre is a three-sport athlete, with two years of tennis, two years of varsity basketball and two years of varsity football. He wasn’t active on the football field until his junior season, transitioning his main interest over from the basketball court. “It’s more exciting,” he said of football. “The game and just the day itself is more fun.” He’s looking forward to playing Saturdays at the next level against advanced competition. Andre was an all-Greater Neuse River 4A Conference selection his senior season, and was all academic his junior and senior seasons. He was also named Knightdale football offensive player of the year his senior season, when he led the team in touchdowns with 19 – 12 of those on he ground.

Knightdale coach Cedric Dargan: “I think St. Aug’s is going to be surprised how tough (Andre) is. He carried the load for us a lot this year, took a lot of shots and bounced back up each time – never complained and never took himself out. He’s definitely a dual-treat quarterback and I think that’s what they really liked about him when they looked at his tape. He runs the read option very well and has great speed and quickness. Losing him, that’s definitely going to be a major loss for us.”

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