Few people have a more unique perspective on Auburn hiring Hugh Freeze to be its head football coach than Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis.
Willis, a rookie with the Titans, played two seasons (2017-18) at Auburn before transferring to Liberty, where he spent his final three college seasons playing for Freeze. In two years as a starter in 2020-21, Willis led the Flames to an 18-6 record while accounting for 5,117 passing yards, 1,822 rushing yards and 74 total touchdowns.
"I think he'll fit perfectly fine," Willis said about Freeze's prospects at Auburn. "He's a great coach. That's all you want regardless of level or status. You just come in and try to coach the best that you can."
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When asked what makes Freeze so successful as a coach, Willis singled out Freeze's skills as a communicator. He said Freeze does such a good job of clearly communicating what he's asking of his players that the players often don't even realize the skills being ingrained in them.
Willis said he reached out to congratulate Freeze on the new job but didn't reveal any details about their conversation beyond saying, "We chopped it up."
Having the experience he has both at Auburn and under Freeze, Willis said he thinks the only thing Freeze needs to focus on to be successful is trying to win one game every week.
Willis doesn't have all the answers, though. When asked about the positives and negatives of the Auburn job, Willis was blunt.
"I don't know," Willis said. "They've had like three coaches. I don't know."
Contact Nick Suss at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @nicksuss.
This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Titans' Malik Willis gives take on Auburn football hiring Hugh Freeze