Honors & Awards
- University of Nebraska Graduate (December, 1999)
- Member of Two Nebraska National Championship Teams (1995, 1997)
Aaron Wills finished his collegiate career appearing in 38 games (starting 12) for the Huskers. Throughout his career he totaled 70 tackles (31 solo), eight tackles for 31 yards lost, three sacks for 22 yards lost, one pass breakup and caused one interception on 13 quarterback hurries. Wills also forced and recovered a fumble. He graduated from Nebraska as a member of its 1995 and 1997 national championship teams.
Wills played a valuable role last season as the backup to right rush end Mike Rucker. This season he switched sides with Kyle Vanden Bosch and assumed the starting role vacated by two-year starter Chad Kelsay. Wills started every game, including the bowl, and finished with 56 tackles (25 solo) on the season. He had a career-best 10 tackles against Texas A&M while adding eight tackles against Southern Miss, six against Iowa State and five against both California and Kansas. Wills recorded seven tackles for 23 yards lost and two sacks (one for a five-yard loss against Texas A&M and one for a nine-yard loss, in the Big 12 Championship game, against Texas). He forced a fumble and recovered another one while breaking up one pass and causing an interception on one of his 10 quarterback hurries. In the 2000 Fiesta Bowl against Tennessee, Wills recorded four tackles (three solo), had three tackles for nine yards lost, two sacks for eight yards lost and caused one fumble.
Playing in 11 games (all but Kansas State), Wills had 10 tackles (five solo). He had a season-best three tackles against Louisiana Tech and two against Washington and Kansas. He had two quarterback hurries casing incomplete passes. He had one tackle in the Holiday Bowl against Arizona, a 10-yard sack of Ortege Jenkins.
Wills moved from tight end to rush end before spring ball. He played in five of the first six games, then sat out the rest of the season. He had four tackles with one solo stop in each of four games.
Wills played in 10 games as a reserve tight end and caught one 19-yard pass against Kansas. He played in the 1996 Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech, but did not catch any passes.
A scholarship athlete, Wills redshirted his first year as a Husker.
Omaha Burke High School
Wills was named a first-team all-state defensive lineman on the Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska and Lincoln Journal Star Super-State teams. He was one of two Burke Bulldogs to commit to NU in 1995, along with offensive tackle Adam Julch. Wills and Julch tied for the Burke High School "best hit" award in 1994. SuperPrep named Wills to its All-Midlands Region team as a defensive end. He was also the Nebraska Coaches Association Linebacker-of-the-Year. On defense, Wills collected 50 solo and 42 assisted tackles and eight tackles for negative yardage. He had 20 tackles (15 solo) in the first round of the playoffs. As a tight end, Wills caught eight passes for 115 yards. Wills was also a three-time All-America swimmer (in the 200 IM, 100 free and 200 free). He won the 200-meter freestyle state championship in 1994 (1:41.13) and placed third at state his last three years in the 100 butterfly. He earned all-academic metro honors in 1994 and posted a 4.0 GPA in the last three and one half years of high school. Recruited by Arizona, UCLA and Washington, Wills only visited Nebraska.
The son of Cornelius and Linda Wills, Aaron was born on Oct. 24, 1976, in Des Moines, Iowa. Aaron majored in psychology and earned his bachelor's degree from Nebraska in December of 1999. Of Polynesian Hawaiian descent, Aaron's middle name is Kahauoliokuupuuwai, meaning "Joy of my Heart." Aaron's younger brother, Colin, was also a rush end for the Huskers.
Wills' Career Statistics
|1996||10/0||(Played on offense at tight end.)|
Receptions: 1-19 vs. Kansas, 1996
1996 Orange Bowl vs. Virginia Tech: Receptions, None
1998 Orange Bowl vs. Tennessee: Did Not Play
1998 Holiday Bowl vs. Arizona: Tackles 1 UT, 0 AT, 0 TT; TFL 1-10; Sacks 1-10
2000 Fiesta Bowl vs. Tennessee: Tackles 3 UT, 1 AT, 4 TT; TFL 3-9; Sacks 2-8; 1 Forced Fumble