During the second half of the 2018-19 season, Jake Willets became one of the top defenseman not only in the South Division but in the entire North American Hockey League. He was one of the key ingredients to the Amarillo Bulls success in the playoffs and onto the Robertson Cup. Now Willets will be able to take his strong improved play to the next level.
The Amarillo Bulls announced today (Thursday) that defenseman Jake Willets has committed to Ferris State University, Division I, (WCHA) and will enroll in the school this fall. Willets is the 13th Amarillo Bulls player from the 2018-19 roster to make his NCAA plans.
“Since day one when Rocky (Russo) brought me in, he told me we were going to work on everything, little stuff that I needed to fix,” Willets said. “I can’t think him and George (Lewis) enough for the extra work they have put in for me. It’s probably one of my favorite seasons yet. When I first got to Amarillo it was a bit of a learning curve of how to play in the South. Rocky and George really turned me around and got my game going.”
Willets played in 57 of the teams 60 regular season games and posted 17 goals and 24 assists for 41 points. He added 133 penalty minutes, seven power play goals, and had a plus 21 rating. In the post season, the Monroe Michigan native had three goals and seven assists for 10 points in 13 games.
Bulls Head Coach Rocky Russo said the team is excited for Jake and his family.
“Jake is a 200-foot defenseman that can effect the game in all three zones,” Russo said. “He has worked very hard on his game this season, putting in the extra work on the ice, in the gym and in the film room.”
“He was a difference maker for us down the stretch, into the playoffs and the Robertson cup, so it’s no surprise that he is getting this opportunity at this time. I am certain that Jake will make an immediate impact for Coach Daniels’ team and will be a positive addition to Ferris State.”
There are not many athletes that get a chance to get an NCAA College Commitment in their home state and play close to home. Willets said his family will be able to come watch him play, since the school is only three hours away from home.
“This has been a dream come true something you work hard your entire life for,” Willets said. “It is so overwhelming to play Division One hockey in your home state. Some kids may not have an opportunity to do so. I was very excited and relieved to get this completed. I’m very excited and it’s perfect for me and my family.”
Willets said he owes many people a lot of thanks.
“I want to thank my parents, and without their sacrifices, everything they have done from a hockey career, I wouldn’t be where I am today. All my teammates as well as Rocky Russo, George Lewis, all of my coaches and everyone who has believed in me.”
Jake Willets (Ferris State joins Louis Helsen (RPI), Logan Jenuwine (Arizona State), Gabriel Seger (Union College), Brett Abdelnour (Army-West Point), Jason Grande (Bentley), Justin Evenson (Army-West Point), Nick Anderson (Colgate), Alex Peterson (Holy Cross), Brenden Datema (Michigan Tech), Jason Brancheau (Ferris State) and John Pesek (St. Thomas) as Bulls’ players on the 2018-19 roster to make their NCAA College Commitments.