You can’t stop East Carolina when it comes to the football transfer portal. You can only hope to contain it.
On Twitter May 7, Alabama cornerback Nigel Knott announced his commitment to the East Carolina football program. Five days later, Arkansas running back Chase Hayden committed as well. Late last week, offensive lineman Avery Jones confirmed his move in from North Carolina.
“First I would like to thank Appalachian State University, the Coaches, and the athletic staff for the opportunity to graduate with my bachelor’s degree. As well as the opportunity to compete at the Division 1 level,” Willis wrote. “I was fortunate enough to win 43 games and win 4 consecutive bowl games and be a part of history with the program. …
“Thank You to the App State family for the memories and the life-changing experience.”
— Najee Willis (@ShowMoreMercee) May 17, 2020
As indicated in the tweet, Willis is a graduate transfer addition. This coming season is his final year of eligibility.
Willis was a two-star member of the Mountaineers’ 2016 recruiting class. The 6-2, 260-pound end took a redshirt his true freshman season.
In 2017 and 2018, Willis played in a combined 25 games. The North Carolina native started five of the last six games of the 2018 season. He headed into summer camp in 2019 as the presumptive starter, but a non-contact injury prior to the season kicking off knocked him out for the entire year.
During his time with the App State football team, Willis totaled 39 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four sacks and a forced fumble.
East Carolina is coming off a 4-8 campaign in the first year under head coach Mike Houston. Since winning 18 games in 2013-14, the Pirates have won a combined 18 games the past five seasons.