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Andy Wittry | NCAA.com | April 27, 2022

Malik Willis' college football stats, highlights and records

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One of the top quarterback prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft is former Liberty quarterback Malik Willis, who could have his name called in the first round of April's draft. Willis started his college career at Auburn before he transferred to Liberty, where he was responsible for more than 30 touchdowns in both the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Here's everything you need to know about Malik Willis' college career.

The vitals on Malik Willis

Schools: Auburn, Liberty
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6-1
Weight: 215 pounds
Years active: 2017-21

Here are Malik Willis' career passing stats in college. You may need to scroll to the right to view the complete table.

Year games completions attempts comp. % Yards Y/A TD int rating
2017 7 6 7 85.7 45 6.4 1 0 186.9
2018 5 5 7 71.4 24 3.4 0 0 100.2
2020 10 170 265 64.2 2,250 8.5 20 6 155.8
2021 13 207 339 61.1 2,857 8.4 27 12 151.1
Career 35 388 618 62.8 5,176 8.4 48 18 152.9

Below are Willis' career rushing stats.

Year Att. Yards YPC TD
2017 16 221 13.8 1
2018 12 88 7.3 1
2020 141 944 6.7 14
2021 197 878 4.5 13
Career 366 2,131 5.8 29

Where did Malik Willis go to college?

In December 2016 — Willis' senior year of high school — he committed to Auburn. He also received reported scholarship offers from Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Tulane, among other schools, according to 247Sports. After playing at Auburn for two seasons, Willis transferred to Liberty.

What kind of prospect was Malik Willis in high school?

At Roswell (Ga.) High School, Willis was a three-star college prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, which ranked him as the No. 368 player in the 2017 high school graduating class. He was ranked No. 35 in the talent-rich state of Georgia. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution named Willis the North Fulton offensive player of the year when the newspaper released its high school football all-metro teams in December 2016.

As a senior at Roswell, Willis led his team to the Class AAAAAAA championship game with an undefeated record but Roswell fell to Grayson High School 23-20 in overtime at the Georgia Dome. It was the second season in a row in which Roswell lost in the championship game. Willis forced overtime on the final play of regulation with a 20-yard touchdown pass. He had 301 yards of total offense in the game, including a team-high 40 rushing yards.

What was Malik Willis' record in college?

In the 35 college games he played at Auburn or Liberty, Willis' teams went 27-8. When he became a full-time starter after transferring to Liberty, the Flames went 9-1 when Willis played in 2020 and 8-5 in 2021.

What were some of Malik Willis' best games in college?

Here are some of Willis' most notable performances in college:

Oct. 17, 2020 | Liberty 38, Syracuse 21

Playing on the road against an ACC opponent, Willis led Liberty to a 17-point win in which he tied the highest single-game completion percentage of his Liberty career, 80 percent, as he completed 16 of his 20 pass attempts for 182 yards and a touchdown. His 4-yard touchdown run in the first quarter put Liberty ahead 14-7 and the Flames never trailed from that point on.

 Oct. 24, 2020 | Liberty 56, Southern Miss 35

Willis tied the Liberty single-game passing touchdown record with six touchdown strikes, including five in the first half — one to end each of the Flames' first-half offensive possessions. He finished 24-of-31 passing for 345 yards, an average of 11.1 yards per attempt and a passing efficiency rating of 234.8. Willis also rushed for a team-high 97 yards and a 38-yard touchdown.

Dec. 26, 2020 (Cure Bowl) | Liberty 37, Coastal Carolina 34

Playing against No. 9 and previously undefeated Coastal Carolina in the Cure Bowl, Willis set a career-best with four rushing touchdowns on 21 carries for 137 yards, an average of 6.5 yards per attempt. It wasn't Willis' best passing performance of his career, with two interceptions and no passing touchdowns, but he completed 65 percent of his passes for 210 yards. Liberty won, capping off a season in which it cracked the AP Top 25 as an FBS independent. 

Sept. 18, 2021 | Liberty 45, Old Dominion 17

In a 28-point win over Old Dominion, Willis was responsible for six total touchdowns, the second most in his career. He completed 75 percent of his 28 attempts for 242 yards and four touchdowns, while running for 77 yards and two scores on just nine attempts.

What did people say about Malik Willis?

The Ledger-Enquirer's Michael Niziolek on Willis' role heading into spring practice in 2017: "New Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey will decide how the reps are split up this spring, a rotation the team has yet to reveal. (Sean) White's forearm injury could leave an opening for younger contenders like (Woody) Barrett and Willis to make an impression. They are long shots for the starting job, but getting in the mix for one of the primary backup roles could help them see the field in the fall."

Then-Auburn coach Gus Malzahn on what he saw from Willis so far in spring practice, as of early March 2017 (courtesy of the Ledger-Enquirer): "Malik's got a very strong arm and that's really what stands out to me right now. It's just a matter of getting used to a new offense and everything that goes with it. There's a lot of moving parts just with the communication before the play and then you got the play and the reads and everything that goes with that. He's got a real good attitude but he's got a really strong arm."

Malzahn after Auburn's A-Day scrimmage in April 2017, when he threw for 157 yards (courtesy of the Ledger-Enquirer): "For a guy who should still be in high school, I think he's just really doing some things to really impress our coaches. He managed the offense. I know he took a sack or two today, but that's from being young."

The Montgomery Advertiser's Doug Segrest after Willis' first college game against Missouri: "Willis first made a splash in the spring and was quickly anointed Auburn's quarterback of the future. On television Saturday night, he was quickly compared to Cam Newton, which is laughable. Think about it: There's not even another quarterback in the NFL you'd compare to Cam. Auburn doesn't need Willis to be comparable to anyone. He just needs to grow, get comfortable and be ready if needed. Ideally, it will be down the road."

Malzahn, after Willis went 8-for-20 passing on a windy day in Auburn's 2018 A-Game scrimmage (courtesy of the Montgomery Advertiser): "Thinking about Malik Willis, I think we had a guy named Cam Newton a few years back, I think he went 3-of-8 for the spring game. Nobody was real concerned and I think he went on to win the Heisman Trophy."

The Montgomery Advertiser's Brad Zimanek, after Auburn defeated Liberty (Willis' future school) in November 2018: "It's unlikely that QB Jarrett Stidham will come back to Auburn next season. Malik Willis saw limited action in the second half against Liberty, even scoring a touchdown on a 16-yard run to give Auburn a 53-0 lead. But Willis won't be the Tigers' starting quarterback next year. For all his athletic ability, he struggles running the offense."

The Montgomery Advertiser's Josh Vitale: "The writing was on the wall as soon as Gus Malzahn announced that Auburn would focus its 2019 quarterback competition on redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood and true freshman Bo Nix. Junior Malik Willis, (once) thought to be the heir apparent to the job vacated by Jarrett Stidham, plans to enter his name into the NCAA's transfer portal."

Then-Western Kentucky coach Tyson Helton, after Willis' first career start at Liberty in September 2020 (courtesy of the Park City Daily News): "The quarterback was very athletic, could run around and scramble, which I knew going into the game he had that ability to do the things that he did, made the plays when he needed to make the plays."

The Hattiesburg American's Landon Bost, after Liberty defeated Southern Miss in October 2020: "Auburn transfer Malik Willis tied Liberty's single-game passing touchdown record, set by Phil Basso in 1984, with six. He passed for five touchdowns on Liberty's five first-half drives and was 16-of-21 for 216 yards in the half. Willis threw to nine different receivers and finished with 345 yards on 24-of-31 passing, in addition to 97 yards rushing and one touchdown on the ground."

The Journal Gazette, after Liberty beat Western Carolina 58-14 in November 2020: "Malik Willis threw for 306 yards and three TDs and ran for two more as the Flames won their 10th straight game and trail Notre Dame for the nation's longest active winning streak."

Old Dominion coach Ricky Rahne (courtesy of the Daily Press): "You've got to keep him in the pocket as much as possible, knowing that he can extend plays and do those sort of things. I've really been impressed at the way that he's thrown the football from within the pocket this year. There's a reason he's getting as much hype around being a possible first-round pick as he is. He's a very, very good player."

The Daily Press' David Hall: "Malik Willis came as advertised, and then some. The Liberty quarterback has the attention of NFL scouts, and now he has it from Old Dominion. Willis passed for 242 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for two more Saturday as  the frenetic Flames handed ODU a 45-17 non-conference loss at Williams Stadium."

The AP's Mark Long: "Malik Willis refused to settle for a backup role. Liberty's biggest star and potentially the first quarterback selected in April's NFL draft, left Auburn after two seasons of mop-up duty and transferred to play for coach Hugh Freeze in Lynchburg, Virginia. It was one of the best decisions of Willis' football career, maybe even of his life. Now, he might never have to vie for playing time again. Once relegated to watching Bo Nix and Joey Gatewood compete for a starting spot, Willis is widely regarded among the best pro QB prospects in college this season. He is the latest top prospect The Associated Press is spotlighting each week during the season."

Liberty coach Hugh Freeze, after the 2021 LendingTree Bowl (courtesy of the Daily Press): "That's Malik Willis' style. Making plays with his feet, making good throws, explosive plays, smiling on the sideline, giving credit to everybody else and just finishing with great humility and leadership. He'll be missed on The Mountain for sure."

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