#Gamecocks, the New Jersey running back favorite – SportsTalkSC

Yasin Willis

2024 RB Yasim Willis (6-0 202) of Montvale, NJ, came down south last summer to compete at one of USC’s camps in front of head coach Shane Beamer and running backs coach Montario Hardesty. That was a few weeks after recruiter Pete Lembo made him an offer.

Willis returned to Columbia for the Tennessee game last Saturday, where he had the opportunity to speak more fully with Beamer and Hardesty. Willis was feeling so good after the visit and the coaches that he was willing to declare the Gamecocks his current favorite.

“I love it. It’s a place that I definitely feel like I can belong to,” Willis said. “I think it suits me perfectly. I’ve been there for camp before and attended school and fell in love with the school. Since then, I’ve felt like South Carolina might be the right place for me. Time will tell. But yeah, they’re 100% my favorite.”

One of the highlights of the visit for Willis was the opportunity to sit down with Beamer for a face-to-face interview.

“I had a great chat with him,” Willis said. He told me how he had seen my film and felt how I had gotten better since last season. I’ve really excelled this season so he was proud to see that. He said the type of running back I am is someone they are definitely looking for and I definitely fit the criteria and the game that this type of offense calls for.

And what did Beamer and Hardesty say they liked about Willis?

They said I’m very downhill,” Willis said. “I have a few moves in my inventory, so I know how to use them when needed. I can jump, run, get around you, stiff arm, I’m on another when I run the ball and that’s something they like.

It helped the Gamecocks with Willis put on an offensive show against Tennessee, who scored 63 points and rushed for over 600 total yards, including 153 yards on the ground.

“The offense that they ran, they did a great job,” Willis said. “They played adult football. They came and did what they were supposed to do. I remember talking to Coach Hardesty, he said if we get the ball first it’s game over. We go out, do it like we’re supposed to, it’s game over, we can win it. They scored on the first drive and then kept going. I think they scored on every drive but one. It was amazing to see them go out there and put on this great show.”

Willis was also with Rutgers for one game that season. He has also made visits to Penn State and Syracuse. He said the Nittany Lions is another program that is of great interest to him at the moment. Some of its other offerings include Michigan, Illinois, Virginia Tech, Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Nebraska, and Connecticut.

This season, Willis has rushed for 1,133 yards and 18 touchdowns.