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Liberty QB Malik Willis named to CFPA Performer of the Year watch list

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Malik Willis scores a rushing TD in Liberty’s 38-21 win at Syracuse. Photo courtesy Liberty Athletics.

The College Football Performance Awards added Liberty quarterback Malik Willis to the CFPA Performer of the Year Award watch list, a list that includes the top 38 FBS players in the country.

Willis is a perfect 6-0 as a starting quarterback at Liberty since transferring from Auburn. After sitting out the 2019 season, the redshirt junior has thrown for 1,339 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2020.

Willis leads all FBS quarterbacks in rushing yards, having gained 603 yards on the ground this season. He is one of three FBS quarterbacks to rank among the nation’s top 20 in passing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns (also BYU’s Zach Wilson and Texas’s Sam Ehlinger).

The signal caller rushed for 168 yards during his Flames’ debut, Sept. 19 at Western Kentucky. It was the most in a single game by a quarterback in program history. Willis’s 168 rushing yards are the third most by an FBS quarterback in a single game this season.

Willis passed for six touchdowns on Oct. 24 against Southern Miss, tying the program record set by Phil Basso against Mars Hill in 1984. Only three other FBS quarterbacks have passed for six touchdowns in a game this season: Ole Miss’s Matt Corral, Memphis’s Brady White and Florida’s Kyle Trask.

The native of Atlanta, Ga., currently ranks No. 11 in the country in points responsible for (114), No. 14 in total offensive yards per game (323.7), No. 15 in rushing yards per carry (6.7), No. 17 in rushing yard (603) and No. 19 in both rushing (7) and passing (12) touchdowns.

Willis and the Flames return to action this Saturday. Liberty hosts Western Carolina at Williams Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and LFSN Radio (Flagship station – The Journey FM 88.3 Lynchburg).liberty fo