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Beyond X's and O's with Malik Willis, Liberty QB


What sports did you play in high school?

  • “I played football and baseball, ever since I was 4 or 5 and it continued into high school. In football, I played pretty much every skilled position from quarterback to wide receiver to corner.”

What is your biggest motivator?

  • “The fact that we’ve got a God above that wakes us up every day, and we just sometimes don’t appreciate that and find ourselves complaining. I feel like for Him to show that love and have so much patience for us motivates me to keep going and try to bring glory to His name through the athletic ability that He blessed me with.”

What is your day-to-day routine?

  • “It’s nothing crazy, to be honest it’s kind of boring probably to some people. I wake up and go to breakfast. We have breakfast at 6:30 a.m. and then we go to meetings. After our meetings, we go to walk throughs, then to practice. After practice is when it differentiates – sometimes I have study hall and then go watch film and go to treatment, and then I’m headed home for the night. If I get all my work done, I can just relax and chill, listen to a little music, and get ready to do it again tomorrow.”

What is your pregame attire?

  • “I am definitely comfortable; I’m not going all out. A suit is a little too fancy for me, I’m a pretty chill guy. I’m not going to do too much there.”

Pregame warm-up song?

  • “Probably ‘All In’ by Lil Baby.”

Who is your role model?

  • “I have a few, but the most influential one is my dad. He taught me what to do and what not to do and he just kind of gave me the guidelines of how to do what I’m trying to do and the steps I need to take in order to reach the goals I wanted to set for myself.”

Can you talk about the challenge of being a transfer QB and how you were able to win over the locker room?

  • “I think you just have to be yourself. I am a pretty calm, chill person, I like to talk to everybody. I feel like it was more or less just trying to be yourself and get to know people. It’s not about trying to tell people what to do all the time, you have to get to know people. You just have to let everybody know that you have their best interests at heart and get everyone on the same page as you. You have to show them how you work. Actions speak louder than words every time. You doing all that talking about what you want to do and this and that, is only going to help after you go prove yourself after you work hard. I had to sit out for a year so I wasn’t even playing, I was just working hard every day, going to workouts and just trying to be the best I can be and wanted to get bigger, faster, stronger so that when it was my time to play I would be prepared.”

What is your leadership style? Give me an example of how you have lead your team this year.

  • “It is a trust thing. Once I get you to trust in me and in what I have to offer and what I believe, now we believe the same thing. Once I have your trust, now you know I have your best interest at heart. When it’s time for me to get on you, I’m going to get on you, but other than that I’m just going to coach you up and help you get better because at the end of the day, when you get better, I get better, when I get better, you get better, and we all get better as a team. It is more about us helping each other get better than being that front runner guy that just yells at everybody.”

What is your favorite college football memory?

  • “Probably that win we had against Virginia Tech. I mean that field goal was crazy. It was 50 something yards I think, yeah it was crazy. I didn’t even watch it; I just remember watching the replay. I was like, ‘WOW, that’s crazy,’!”

How have you handled all the ‘first round’ buzz this year?

  • “I feel like social media is kind of fake, well not kind of fake, it is fake. It’s not real life and there are a lot of people talking about a lot of stuff that is just a lot of ifs. You have to worry about stuff day-to-day. We have to realize the opportunity that we have today. You only know about waking up one day at a time – that’s all you can worry about. You just have to live in the moment, you know? I feel like it’s too much to try to see the future because it makes you anxious all the time, it’s too late to look in your past and see what has already happened, or to think if you would never be where you’re at now, so it’s just the fact of staying in the moment. I haven’t really tried to deal with it too much, I just try to keep pushing. Now, if I see something crazy out there, I say ‘oh thanks, but the glory is to God, it’s not to me,’ you know what I’m saying? It’s not really about me, I just try to use my platform to glorify God and bring people closer to him – I feel like that’s what I’m used to do by Him at this point in my life. I mean to know that so many people are already impacted just makes me keep going. I feel like I’m on the right path.”

What has the agent recruitment process been like up to this point?

  • "This process has been cool, but I mean I haven’t been too focused on that either. I have someone for NIL, but I just don’t really want to talk to anyone about it yet. I’m just focused on this season.”

We saw you worked with Quincy Avery before this season – what did you want to focus most on to get ready for this year?

  • “We focused a lot on my footwork. He and Coach Sean McEvoy, I mean we really just focused on my footwork and making sure I was getting on a consistent basis and not getting out of whack when I get tired or when I move around a lot in the pocket. We just worked on playing from the pocket and playing from a stable position and move when I need to, not when I feel like it. I am blessed with mobility so I used to just move because I could, not because I had to. We just focused on those little things and tightening up some things in my mechanics.”

What are you most looking forward to the rest of the season?

  • “Just more opportunities to go out and bring more glory to God, and just play the game that we love to play.”

Is there an NFL player that you try to model your game after?

  • “Not really, I watch a lot of people and take little pieces of their game and see what they do well. I just try to take little bits and pieces of what other people are doing and try to implement it into my game.”

Who is a WR in the NFL you want to throw a touchdown to?

  • “One that can get open. It doesn’t matter. I’d throw to any of them – they’re good players, I mean they made it to the NFL, they’ve got to be doing something right.”

Who is the best player you have ever played against?

  • “So I didn’t play, but Devin White when he was with LSU. I remember watching film on him when I was still at Auburn and thinking he was a beast, I was like, ‘oh my goodness, how are we fixin’ to do this y’all.' He is a beast; I mean we were really trying to plot just against him. I mean they had a really good team, but we definitely had him starred and separated from everybody else. He was a great player.”

If you could bring one teammate to the NFL with you, who would it be?

  • “I’d bring a lot of them. There are a lot of guys that deserve the opportunity. I would definitely bring more than one teammate, for sure.”

You’re stuck on a deserted island with three teammates – who are they?

  • “I can’t pick three. I would try to take the whole team if I could. Can we just say we’re all one person? I feel like everybody has value and everyone has something to bring to the table. Whether it be spiritually, athletically, or mentally. I don’t know, I couldn’t just pick three teammates, it’s too hard.”