Derrick Willies had a solid first season in Lubbock, but was hindered by injuries. Now he's ready for a breakout season in 2017, "This year I've managed to stay healthy." Willies said. He also talked about the strides he's made in year two of the system, "Im more comfortable with it. My overall understanding of the offense and how it works is way ahead of where it was last season."

Willies will be a part of an offense full of weapons, especially at reciever, and he knows they can be special as a group, "We all work so well together because we all have the same goal." and that goal is to make big plays and win games.

Willies also talked about the special connection he has with Nic Shimonek, "I've known Nic since high school, we went to Iowa together." he continued, "We've always been close." This could be an underrated story line moving into the season if Shimonek and Willies can develop a bond on the field because of the friendship they have off the field.

Willies was asked point blank who has the best hands on the team, "It's me without a doubt." I love the confidence there. I'm sure Dylan Cantrell and Keke Coutee have a few things to say about that.

The final point Willies made, and I think the team shares the sentiment, was, "I think you're always playing with a chip on your shoulder. We're just trying to prove everybody wrong."

Every Kliff Kingsbury team, except for maybe this season, has had to deal with a certain amount of expectation going into the season. This 2017 squad, especially nationally, only has negative press. I think the team has sensed that and players like Derrick Willies are leading the charge to play with the mindset of proving the doubters wrong.

2017 Texas Tech Media Day Interviews

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