Click here for COVID-19 updates affecting the campus community

Football's Corey Willis passes Antonio Brown in CMU record books


Senior wide receiver Corey Willis scores the winning touchdown during the football game against Northern Illinois University on Nov. 24 at Kelly Shorts Stadium. 

Central Michigan football senior receiver Corey Willis passed former Central Michigan star Antonio Brown in the record books after catching a game-winning 29-yard touchdown pass on fourth down.

In CMU’s 31-24 victory over Northern Illinois on Saturday at Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Willis caught the record-breaking 29-yard touchdown pass on Senior Day — the last time Willis will play football at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. 

Along with registering the game-winning touchdown, Willis etched his name further up in the record books. 

The receiving score pushed him past former CMU receiver and current Pittsburgh Steelers star Brown on the program’s all-time touchdown reception list. 

Willis now sits in third, while Brown is in fourth. Only Titus Davis (37) and Bryan Anderson (28) caught more touchdown passes in their CMU careers. 

In his collegiate career, Willis has caught 157 passes for 2,346 yards and 23 touchdowns. 

From 2007-09 with CMU, Brown managed to make 305 catches for 3,199 yards and 22 touchdowns. 

Brown is a five-time Pro Bowl athlete and two-time NFL receptions leader. He even led the NFL in receiving yards in 2014. 

Willis is also tied for eighth place with 157 career receptions in a CMU jersey. Brown leads the CMU career reception record book with 305 catches. 

CMU earned its eighth win of the 2017 season Saturday. The last time that CMU reached eight or more wins was in 2009. 

Against NIU, Willis tallied three catches for 38 yards and one record-breaking, game-winning touchdown catch.

During the 2017 regular season, Willis totaled 42 catches for 625 yards and nine touchdowns in just nine games. The senior averaged a team-high 69.4 receiving yards per game. 

Willis' senior season was stunted by a broken bone in his hand in the win against Kansas earlier this year. 

“It was a really emotional time for me (after my injury),” Willis said. “Anytime you hear something is broken, you start thinking the season could be over and its time to kind of pack it in."

Willis missed significant playing time but returned to ignite the Chippewa offense after three games. 

Last season, Willis started eight games and was named to the All Mid-American Conference Second Team. He was voted by teammates as CMU's offensive player of the year and led the team with 71 receptions, 1,087 yards, and nine touchdowns.

Graduate transfer quarterback Shane Morris had high praise for the senior reciever. 

“Corey was definitely one of the top guys who came out and helped me right away," Morris said. "He made sure I knew they were going to give it their all for this team and they have trusted me since day one.”