UCLA couldn't confirm the transfer until it receives a signed letter of intent.
Willis, a member of the 2010 ESPNU 150, would redshirt this season.
The 6-foot-2, 260-pounder from Duncan, S.C., originally picked UNC over UCLA, Tennessee, Auburn and Florida State.
Here's a statement from UNC coach Butch Davis, courtesy of the ACC Blog:
“Brandon Willis and his father informed us that he is going to withdraw from school. It’s a sad situation. Brandon lost his mother less than a year ago and they’ve gone through some family hardships and some family difficulties. His father has been looking for employment and was informed yesterday that he was able to find a job. The unfortunately (sic) thing is he found a job in Southern California and he is really adamant about trying to keep his family together. He’s asked both of his sons to join him in moving out there. That’s all that we really know at this time. We’re happy that his father was able to find a job in this economy. Brandon is a good kid and we wish him the best."