When you are part of a documentary named Last Chance U, it’s not illogical to have a giant chip on your shoulder. For Damion Willis, whether it is truly a motivator or not will soon be known when he lines up with the starters in Week 1 at Seattle. A chip or not, the drive to make an NFL roster is part of the Damion Willis story.
"“It’s very good news,” Willis said. “It’s something I’ve been driven by my whole life, to play in the league. The only goal I was focusing on right now was making the 53-man roster. And then the next goal is to be getting actual playing time. So when I just found that out, I’m really happy. Really blessed.”"
Willis wasn’t a featured part of Last Chance U. He was, at best, a background figure. That it’s part of the journey from a community college to Sunday in the NFL is more about how good he actually is, than just being a feel-good story.
"“The kid is amazing,” fellow wideout John Ross said. “I said, ‘haven’t seen anyone as talented as you with no buzz. Just keep working.’ He has no limit. That’s what makes him special.”"
Willis is that kind of story that will have Cincinnati Bengals fans cheering louder than normal should the kid make good on his opportunity. Thus far, he’s shown he can play. He’s had nine catches for 118 yards and one touchdown in the 2019 preseason. Not gaudy numbers, but just enough to know that he’ll make everything of an opportunity no one saw coming.