PirateIllustrated - ECU Adds Transfer D-End Chris Willis From Appalachian State
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ECU Adds Transfer D-End Chris Willis From Appalachian State

Appalachian State defensive lineman Chris Willis has announced his intention to transfer to East Carolina for his senior campaign.
Appalachian State defensive lineman Chris Willis has announced his intention to transfer to East Carolina for his senior campaign. (Winston-Salem Journal photo)

With ECU losing a number of defensive linemen this offseason, Appalachian State rising senior defensive lineman Chris Willis will transfer to ECU after entering the transfer portal.

The 6-2, 260 pounder adds to several other transfers who are already making their way to Greenville this offseason.

Willis makes the fifth player ECU has taken off the transfer portal in the last nine days after Avery Jones announced earlier in the weekend that he will transfer from North Carolina to East Carolina. Arkansas running back Chase Hayden made his decision to move to Greenville earlier this week, Alabama defensive back Nigel Knott made his announcement just over a week ago while offensive lineman Justin Chase is transferring over from NC State.

Below is Chris Willis' Appalachian State biography. He is originally out of Shelby Crest. Deke Adams and the Pirates recruited the former Rivals 2-Star prospect out of high school.

2019: Missed the season while recovering from a preseason injury.

2018: Played in 13 games and started five of the final six games at defensive end (came off the bench on Senior Day).

After making his first career start at Coastal Carolina, Willis had sacks in three of the last five games, with backfield takedowns against Texas State, Troy (on Senior Day to decide the division title) and Middle Tennessee (R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl). He finished the season with 24 tackles, 3.0 sacks, one forced fumble (at Coastal Carolina) and two QB hurries. Was part of back-to-back sacks against Troy to erase its last chance for a comeback from a late 11-point deficit and finished that game with a career-high four tackles.

Backfield pressure on a third-and-goal play at Texas State set up a goalline interception that led to an App State touchdown for a 21-0 lead rather than the score possibly being 14-7. Along with the forced fumble at Coastal Carolina, he also made a stop for a 7-yard loss in his first career start.

2017: Willis saw action in 12 games as a reserve defensive end … Had 15 tackles, including three apiece against Wake Forest and Idaho … Picked up his first career sack in the comeback win at Idaho … Had a tackle for loss against Savannah State.

2016: Redshirted

High School: Rated a two-star prospect by Rivals.com. Earned all-conference, all-county and honorable mention all-state recognition after posting 116 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, four sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble as a senior.

He recorded 351 total tackles, 63 tackles for loss, 25 sacks, seven fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles during his three-year prep career.Was 6-for-6 on PAT attempts as a sophomore.

Willis helped lead Crest to a 45-2 record, three straight North Carolina 3-AA state championship game appearances (2013-15) and back-to-back state titles (2014-15).

He hose Appalachian State over Georgia Southern, Army West Point, Toledo, Tulane and Miami (Ohio).