Versatile Pioneers Standout Gets Pro Contract

St. Paul Pioneers Tight End/Defensive End Robert Wills wanted to have fun and keep playing football last summer – so he joined what is perhaps the best amateur team in the Upper Midwest. It turned out to be a great move – for the Pioneers and Wills. The Bemidji State University star not only helped St. Paul to its second consecutive league title, but he caught the eye of professional scouts.

Now, Wills joins the Green Bay Blizzard of the professional Indoor Football League – thanks in large part to his ability to keep sharp playing the game he loves with the Pioneers. Wills caught a key 2-point conversion in the Pioneers’ 15-0 win over the Chippewa Valley Predators in the Northern Elite Football League title game in August.

He was also a huge contributor on defense, coming in as a pass-rushing defensive end in critical situations. He recorded 15 tackles and four sacks.

Robert Fuller, Blizzard Head Coach and Director of Football Operations, announced signing the 6-4, 265-pound Wills. The former Roseville Area High School star was named All-NSIC after his senior season at Bemidji State.

“We are excited to have Rob Wills join the Blizzard family,” Fuller said “Rob was a standout defensive lineman at Bemidji State and BSU is known for turning out great defenders. We feel Rob is one of those off-the-radar prospects that has the potential to surprise a lot of people. His instincts and effort are what really appealed to us. We also liked that he had played this summer with the Pioneers, which helped him stay in game shape and kept him from getting too rusty.”

The Blizzard is starting its 10th season of professional indoor football. The team played in the AFL2 from 2003 through 2009, then became a top-tier team in the Indoor Football League in 2010, winning division championships both years.

Pioneers Head Coach Mark Heiser said that Wills is exactly the type of player any coach would be thrilled to have on his team. He said he expects Wills to do very well next season.

"Rob had a fantastic season for us in 2011 and was an integral part of our championship run,” Heiser said. “I am extremely excited that he is getting the opportunity to play professional football. I look forward to watching Rob's continued success in Green Bay."