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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Liberty
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  04/01/21 - Austin OgunmakinrSo/2023, Liberty, 6-2, 201 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  Austin Ogunmakin certainly fit the bill at outside receiver. Ogunmakin announced Monday he is transferring to Liberty after spending three seasons at North Texas. The 6-foot-3, 201-pound Ogunmakin has three seasons of eligibility remaining because the 2020 season does not count toward a player's eligibility. He redshirted in 2018, and the 2020 campaign served as his redshirt sophomore season. "Blessed to be able to start a new Chapter. 100% committed. Let's Work," Ogunmakin tweeted. The Alief, Texas, native caught 29 passes for 437 yards and one touchdown in his two seasons on the field at UNT. He had a breakout game against Appalachian State in the 2020 Myrtle Beach Bowl with career highs of seven catches and 131 yards. He caught a 34-yard touchdown pass in the Mean Green's 56-28 loss to the Mountaineers. - Lynchburg News and Advance

(DS#999 WR) rSo/2023 WR Austin OgunmakinLiberty
News Source: Lynchburg News and Advance
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  01/20/21 - Austin OgunmakinrSo/2023, Liberty, 6-2, 201 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  North Texas wide receiver Austin Ogunmakin announced Monday that he will enter his name in the NCAA transfer portal and may leave the program. Ogunmakin became the 10th UNT player to enter the portal since the end of the Mean Green's 4-6 campaign. The sophomore is among the most productive of the UNT players who have elected to explore their options to transfer. Ogunmakin ranked third among UNT players last season both in receptions (23) and receiving yards (349). - Denton Record

(DS#999 WR) rSo/2023 WR Austin OgunmakinLiberty
News Source: Denton Record
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  01/20/21 - Demario DouglasrFr/2024, Liberty, 5-08, 165 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  Liberty wide receiver DeMario Douglas was named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) freshman All-America team Monday. Douglas, a redshirt freshman, was selected as a punt returner. He ranked ninth in the nation with a punt return average of 11.1 yards, and he added a 73-yard punt return touchdown in the Flames' Oct. 10 victory over Louisiana-Monroe. Douglas is the second player in program history to be honored on the FWAA freshman All-America team (Austin Lewis in 2018). He is the third Liberty player to earn All-America honors this season (Durrell Johnson and Malik Willis were named to the Phil Steele All-America teams). - Lynchburg News and Advance

(DS#999 WR) rFr/2024 WR Demario DouglasLiberty
News Source: Lynchburg News and Advance
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  01/04/21 - Peytton PickettrSr/2022, Liberty, 5-08, 220 (DS#999 RB) + More +

  Liberty Flames running back Peytton Pickett says it's time to move on from the mountain. In an announcement on Twitter, the senior announced his intention to enter the transfer portal, to play his final graduate year of eligibility. Pickett was a big contributor for the Flames in 2020, helping the team put up over 27-hundred yards, the most ever in Liberty football history. - WSET, ABC TV13 News

(DS#999 RB) rSr/2022 RB Peytton PickettLiberty
News Source: WSET, ABC TV13 News
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  01/03/21 - Duron LowerSr/2022, Liberty, 5-10, 185 (DS#93 CB) + More +

  2020 ALL-CONFERENCE USA FOOTBALL HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES): KR - Duron Lowe, R-Sr., UTEP,...On special teams, Duron Lowe earned Honorable Mention after returning nine kickoffs for 292 yards with an average of 32.4 yards per return and a 100-yard return for a touchdown. Lowe ranked fifth in the country and tied for first in C-USA for kickoffs returned for a touchdown...Ranked fifth nationally and second in C-USA in kickoff return average (32.4). His kickoff returned 100 yards for a touchdown in UTEP's game at LA Tech earned him C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week honors. He also had a season-high three kick returns for 159 yards and a touchdown against LA Tech. - Texas-El Paso Football

(DS#93 CB) rSr/2022 CB Duron LoweLiberty
News Source: Texas-El Paso Football
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  12/26/20 - Malik WillisrJr/2022, Liberty, 6-1, 215 (DS#7 QB) + More +

  Elijah James blocked Massimo Biscardi's 42-yard field goal attempt in overtime to give No. 23 Liberty a 37-34 victory over No. 9 Coastal Carolina on Saturday night in a wild finish in the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl. Liberty (10-1) took the lead on Alex Barbir's 44-yard field goal on the first extra possession. Coastal Carolina (11-1) got a huge break in regulation when Liberty's Joshua Mack fumbled inside the 1 with 41 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Safety Alex Spillum recovered the fumble to end the long drive.

Malik Willis ran for 137 yards and four touchdowns for Liberty. The Flames' only loss came to North Carolina State on a blocked field goal. Coastal Carolina overcame an early 14-0 deficit, and drove 72 yards to tie it in the fourth quarter. Grayson McCall ran in a 2-point conversion to make it 34-34 after throwing a 5-yard touchdown pass to Greg Latushko with 3:01 remaining. Coastal Carolina had won 12 straight. - AP College Football


(DS#7 QB) rJr/2022 QB Malik WillisLiberty
News Source: AP College Football
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  12/10/20 - TJ GreenrJr/2022, Liberty, 5-10, 209 (DS#999 RB) + More +

  The lone running back who had made a verbal commitment in Liberty's 2021 recruiting class elected to decommit from the program and reopen his recruitment early Monday afternoon. It didn't take long for the Flames to fill that void. Utah transfer TJ Green, who entered the transfer portal before the Utes' shortened season began, announced Monday evening he is transferring to Liberty.

Green, who has graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics, is immediately eligible as a graduate transfer and has two seasons of eligibility remaining. He is the only running back listed in a recruiting class that currently features 10 high school seniors and three junior college transfers. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Green redshirted in 2017 and played in the 2018 and 2019 seasons with Utah. He had 59 carries for 258 yards and one touchdown in 25 games. - Lynchburg News and Advance


(DS#999 RB) rJr/2022 RB TJ GreenLiberty
News Source: Lynchburg News and Advance
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  12/04/20 - Malik WillisrJr/2022, Liberty, 6-1, 215 (DS#7 QB) + More +

  Coastal Carolina football coach Jamey Chadwell spent a good chunk of his 24-minute press conference Wednesday speaking highly of Liberty quarterback Malik Willis and the challenges the dual-threat athlete would present to his defense. College GameDay's trip to Conway, South Carolina, and the matchup of two top 25 teams were also high on Chadwell's list of things he was looking forward to Saturday, but he was worried about slowing down the electric Willis. North Carolina State was the only team that contained Willis through the Flames' first 10 games. The coronavirus pandemic may have sacked Willis before Coastal got the chance to slow him down Saturday at Brooks Stadium.

Willis, according to reports, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week and his status for Saturday's game is in doubt. Liberty has not confirmed those reports and has not disclosed the names of players and coaches who have tested positive this season. A Sea of Red first reported the news of Willis' positive test, citing unnamed sources. "After all these questions about him, huh? Well, one, let's hope that he's OK, obviously," Chadwell said. "Hopefully it's not something that's going to be serious long-term for him. "That's disappointing, obviously, for him because I know he was probably looking forward to a big game and he's a great player," Chadwell added. "It's probably disappointing for our team, I know that, because I know they wanted to play against him. At the end of the day, they've got good players there, too, so we're going to have to still get ready and play a really great team. Let's hope that he gets better sooner rather than later." - Lynchburg News and Advance


(DS#7 QB) rJr/2022 QB Malik WillisLiberty
News Source: Lynchburg News and Advance
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  11/29/20 - Malik WillisrJr/2022, Liberty, 6-1, 215 (DS#7 QB) + More +

  Malik Willis' first offensive series Friday against UMass looked a bit shaky. The Liberty quarterback was dropped for losses of one and eight yards, and he missed on a third-down pass intended for Kevin Shaa. Willis, though, quickly shook off the slow start and reverted back to the sharp, poised and dynamic signal caller who led the Flames to eight consecutive victories to open the season. The redshirt junior threw for 223 yards and three touchdowns, ran for 63 yards and a score, and was electric in the Flames' 45-0 victory over UMass at Williams Stadium.

It was a needed bounce-back performance for Willis. He threw three interceptions and was wildly inaccurate in last weekend's 15-14 loss at N.C. State. "It was good. I needed that last week. You always want to win, but we learned a lot from that game and I just had to take it back to the basics and get back to my fundamentals," said Willis, who completed 16 of 24 passes. "I was fundamentally not sound last week and just worked real hard this week to make sure I was focused in on that and just try to be the best that I could be and play for the glory of God." Wills completed eight straight passes and threw all three of his touchdown passes in the first half. - Lynchburg News and Advance


(DS#7 QB) rJr/2022 QB Malik WillisLiberty
News Source: Lynchburg News and Advance
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  11/27/20 - Malik WillisrJr/2022, Liberty, 6-1, 215 (DS#7 QB) + More +

  Malik Willis passed for three touchdowns in the first half and Liberty blanked winless UMass 45-0 on Friday, rebounding from a stinging one-point loss in its previous game. Liberty (9-1), which outgained the Minutemen 629 yards to 227, scored touchdowns on four straight drives and added a field goal in the waning seconds of the first half to build a 31-0 halftime lead, adding another field goal and two more TDs on five second-half possessions. Willis was 16-for-24 for 223 yards passing. He connected for TDs with Kevin Shaa, Michael Bolinger and Demario Douglas. Peytton Pickett and Joshua Mack each rushed for more than 100 yards - Pickett picked up 125 on 10 carries with a 16-yard TD. Mack ran for 109 on 11 carries and touchdown bursts of 59 and 54-yards.

Receiver DJ Stubbs caught 3 passes for 56 yards and surpassed 1,500 career receiving yards. The Minutemen (0-4) end a truncated season. The school had originally opted not to play during the coronavirus pandemic but changed course in September, managing to schedule four games. UMass was outscored 161-16. Liberty ends its season at unbeaten No. 16 Coastal Carolina next Saturday and had also been undefeated before falling 15-14 at NC State a week ago. Attendance was capped at 250, per new orders from Virginia's governor. - AP College Football


(DS#7 QB) rJr/2022 QB Malik WillisLiberty
News Source: AP College Football
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  11/27/20 - Emanuel DabneyrSr/2022, Liberty, 5-11, 180 (DS#999 CB) + More +

  Emanuel Dabney, who started seven straight games at cornerback for Liberty, entered the transfer portal Monday morning. The 6-foot cornerback has one season of eligibility remaining, and can play a second with 2020 not counting toward a player's eligibility. "I've decided to enter my name in the transfer portal after weeks of long thoughts and prayers, [I] feel that this is the best decision for me," Dabney wrote in a Twitter post. "Thank you Coach Freeze for blessing me with this opportunity when no one else would. I'll forever cherish the bonds I've made and all the accomplishments we had together as a team in year 2 but to my future school know y'all getting a DAWG that's hungry!" Dabney recorded 14 tackles (13 solo), six pass breakups and one fumble recovery this season. He traveled and was in uniform for this past Saturday's game at N.C. State, but did not play. "I wish Dabney the best," Flames coach Hugh Freeze said. - Lynchburg News and Advance

(DS#999 CB) rSr/2022 CB Emanuel DabneyLiberty
News Source: Lynchburg News and Advance
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  11/26/20 - Malik WillisrJr/2022, Liberty, 6-1, 215 (DS#7 QB) + More +

  A significant portion of Liberty's offensive responsibilities fell on quarterback Malik Willis' shoulders in the season's first eight games. Each week, his maturation and understanding of Hugh Freeze's complex RPO offense developed, and he steadily evolved into a true dual-threat quarterback. The Flames flourished on offense, and Willis was at the center of a well-oiled, high-powered attack. The redshirt junior always deferred the praise sent his way. He credited his teammates for executing and the coaches for putting the players in a position to succeed. Willis didn't see himself as the one making the offense flourish. It was a collective effort. Collectively, the Flames struggled mightily on the offensive side of the ball Saturday night against North Carolina State. There was no rhythm. The methodical, slow-it-down pace that worked incredibly well at Virginia Tech two weekends ago was stymied. Whenever tempo was utilized, there were mixed results.

Willis didn't see it as a collective disappointment. He never looked at a stat sheet following the 15-14 heartbreaking loss. He honestly didn't have to. Three times his passes were intercepted by the Wolfpack, and his first of two fourth-quarter picks led to the go-ahead touchdown. For all the deferring Willis has done in the good times, he placed the blame squarely on his shoulders. The same shoulders that helped lead Liberty into the FBS Top 25 polls for the first time. "I take the blame and God takes all the glory. It's all on me. I take the blame for that loss," Willis said, never hesitating or mincing his words, though the pain was evident when he spoke. "I take the blame for turning the ball over and just putting us in terrible situations when the defense was picking us up every time and the offensive line was doing their part, running backs doing their part. I've just got to take command and do what I'm supposed to do and go out there and take care of the football." - Lynchburg News and Advance


(DS#7 QB) rJr/2022 QB Malik WillisLiberty
News Source: Lynchburg News and Advance
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  11/24/20 - Malik WillisrJr/2022, Liberty, 6-1, 215 (DS#7 QB) + More +

  Liberty quarterback Malik Willis has been turning heads in a sizzling start to the season, his first as the Flames' starting signal caller. This week, he was added to another watch list that honors the nation's top college football player. Willis was added to the Maxwell Award watch list to go with his inclusion on the watch lists for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award and the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) National Performer of the Year. The Maxwell Award is presented annually to the nation's top player. It is voted on by a panel of sportscasters, sportswriters, head coaches and the membership of the Maxwell Football Club.

The semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced Nov. 30, and the three finalists for each award will be announced Dec. 8. Willis, who garnered recognition for his running at the beginning of the season, has transformed into a true dual-threat quarterback as the season has progressed. He threw his 13th touchdown pass in the past four games - and 16th of the season - with 19 seconds remaining in the first half of Saturday night's primetime matchup with N.C. State to tie the game at 7. - Lynchburg News and Advance


(DS#7 QB) rJr/2022 QB Malik WillisLiberty
News Source: Lynchburg News and Advance
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  11/14/20 - Malik WillisrJr/2022, Liberty, 6-1, 215 (DS#7 QB) + More +

  Malik Willis threw for 306 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more scores, leading No. 22 Liberty over Western Carolina 58-14 on Saturday. Liberty (8-0) won its 10th straight game and remained second behind Notre Dame for the nation's longest active winning streak. Playing their first game of the season, the Catamounts (0-1) trailed 14-7 early in the second quarter. Liberty then scored four straight touchdowns in the next 14 minutes. Willis completed 14 of 19 passes with touchdown strikes of 44, 40 and 83 yards. He scored on runs of 11 and 43 yards and rushed for 97 yards on eight carries. Willis has accounted for 16 touchdowns in the past three games, including 12 in the air. He threw for just three TDs in the Flames' first five games. - AP College Football

(DS#7 QB) rJr/2022 QB Malik WillisLiberty
News Source: AP College Football
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  11/09/20 - Malik WillisrJr/2022, Liberty, 6-1, 215 (DS#7 QB) + More +

  No. 2 Notre Dame has the longest active win streak in the FBS at 13 games. Which team has the second longest? No. 22 Liberty, which won its ninth in a row with its 38-35 victory at Virginia Tech. The Flames are 2-0 against ACC opponents - they beat Syracuse three weeks ago - after entering the season 0-8 against the league. Liberty, in its third year in the FBS, is the first non-Power Five team to defeat two ACC opponents in the same season since Houston did it in 2015. Liberty also is 4-0 against 2019 bowl teams. - AP College Football

(DS#7 QB) rJr/2022 QB Malik WillisLiberty
News Source: AP College Football
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