Patrick Willis

Patrick L. Willis (born January 25, 1985) is a former American football linebacker who played his entire eight-year career with the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the 49ers in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He played college football for the University of Mississippi and received consensus All-American honors.

During Willis's senior season at Ole Miss, he received the Butkus Award and the Jack Lambert Award as the nation's top linebacker. A year later as a member of the 49ers, Willis led the NFL in tackles, earned first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors while being named the 2007 AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Willis made the Pro Bowl in his first seven seasons in the NFL, and earned All-Pro honors in his first six years. He won the college Butkus Award in 2006 while at Ole Miss and in 2009, he won the professional Butkus Award while with the 49ers.

Patrick Willis
refer to caption
Willis with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012
No. 52
Position:Middle Linebacker
Personal information
Born:January 25, 1985 (age 34)
Bruceton, Tennessee
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High school:Bruceton (TN) Central
College:Mississippi
NFL Draft:2007 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles:950
Quarterback sacks:20.5
Interceptions:8
Forced fumbles:16
Touchdowns:2
Player stats at NFL.com

Early life

Born in Bruceton, Tennessee, Willis grew up in abject poverty and had to take care of his younger siblings. By the age of 10, he worked full-time in cotton fields.[1] At age 17, he left his home, a double-wide in a trailer park just outside Bruceton, with his brothers, Orey and Detris, and sister, Ernicka, when his alcoholic father turned increasingly violent.[2] The siblings moved in with Willis's high school basketball coach.

Willis attended Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central High School,[3] where he was a two-time All-State selection, Regional Most Valuable Player, and West Tennessee Player of the Year. He earned four letters in football and basketball, and three in baseball. He was also the first person in Tennessee state history to be nominated for both the Mr. Football Award for a Lineman (as a linebacker) and the Mr. Football Award for a Back (as a tailback) in the same season.

Regarded as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Willis was listed as the No. 60 linebacker prospect in the class of 2003.[4] He chose Ole Miss over Memphis.

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Patrick Willis
LB
Bruceton, Tennessee Central HS 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 217 lb (98 kg) 4.6 Jul 8, 2003 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:
2 stars
   Rivals:
3 stars
   247SportsN/A
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 32 (college recruiting)   Rivals: 60 (LB); 38 (college recruiting)
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "2003 Mississippi Football Commitment List". Rivals.com. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  • "2003 Ole Miss College Football Team Recruiting Prospects". Scout.com. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  • "Scout.com Team Recruiting Rankings". Scout.com. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  • "2003 Team Ranking". Rivals.com. Retrieved August 17, 2013.

College career

Patrick leads by example. He is not a big talker. He just gets in there and does his job every day and makes everybody around him better.
— former Mississippi coach Ed Orgeron.[5]

Willis attended the University of Mississippi ("Ole Miss"), and played for the Ole Miss Rebels football team from 2003 to 2006. As a freshman at Ole Miss, Willis played in all 13 games and made 20 stops. He received the Scholar-Athlete Award from the Ole Miss chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.

As a sophomore in 2004, he appeared in 10 of 11 games and earned honorable mention All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) honors from the Associated Press. He recorded 70 tackles (54 solo), and led the team with 11.0 tackles for a loss and five sacks.

In Willis's 2005 junior campaign, he led the SEC in total tackles at 12.80 per game, which placed him sixth nationally. He finished season with 128 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Willis was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year by CollegeFootballNews.com[6] and Scout.com. He was also named as a first-team All-American by CollegeFootballNews.com and the All-American Football Foundation.[7] Willis earned first-team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press, SEC Coaches, CollegeFootballNews.com and Rivals.com.

During Willis's last collegiate year in 2006, he led the SEC in tackles once again with 11.4 per game and collected 137 tackles, 11.5 TFLs, seven passes deflected, three sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He was awarded SEC Defensive Player of the Year, first-team All-SEC, and consensus first-team All-American. He was the winner of the Jack Lambert Award and the prestigious Dick Butkus Award, given to the most outstanding linebacker in college football. He also won the Conerly Trophy, voted upon by the media in Mississippi and awarded to the best college football player in Mississippi. In addition, he was a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award and semi-finalist for both the Rotary Lombardi Award and the Lott Trophy.[8]

Awards and honors

Professional career

Originally regarded as a late-first to early-second round draft pick,[9] Willis improved his draft stock with an impressive performance at the NFL Combine; his 4.56 40-yard dash[10][11][12] was one of the fastest among linebackers. He also posted a 39-inch vertical jump and recorded 22 repetitions of the 225-lb. bench press. Willis clocked in at 4.38 seconds for his 40-yard dash during his University of Mississippi pro-day workout.[13] Analysts of The Sporting News compared him to Jeremiah Trotter.[14] Willis also earned South Team Defensive MVP honors at the 2007 Senior Bowl.

Willis was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the first round with the 11th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, re-uniting him with the staff that coached his South Squad at the 2007 Senior Bowl. He signed a seven-year, $53.51 million contract with the 49ers in the 2010 season.[15]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 1 18 in
(1.86 m)
242 lb
(110 kg)
34 in
(0.86 m)
9 34 in
(0.25 m)
4.56 s 1.61 s 2.68 s 4.46 s 7.23 s 39 in
(0.99 m)
9 ft 11 in
(3.02 m)
22 reps 12
All values from the 2007 NFL Combine[12][16]

2007 season

Willis was coached directly by Hall of Fame middle-linebacker/coach Mike Singletary (who later became 49ers head coach), and eventually started at inside linebacker, specifically the "Mike" position, in the 49ers' 3-4 defense. In his first NFL game, Willis recorded 11 tackles, including 9 solo, and a forced fumble as the 49ers defeated the Arizona Cardinals in dramatic fashion by a score of 20–17. For his effort, he won the Diet Pepsi Rookie of the Week Award. One of Willis's strongest performances came against the Minnesota Vikings, as he led the 49ers defense in containing Offensive Rookie of the Year, Adrian Peterson, who managed just 3 yards on 14 carries. Willis's most impressive statistical performance came in week 16 at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In this game he recorded 20 total tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble and one pass deflected in a 21–19 victory, earning Rookie of the Week honors for the fourth time. In addition to receiving the award in weeks 1 and 16, Willis took home the award in weeks 2 and 12. He was also awarded the GMC Defensive Player of the Week twice.

In a game against the Arizona Cardinals on November 25, Willis ran down wide receiver Sean Morey after a 62-yard, catch-and-run for the game-saving tackle in overtime. The 49ers eventually won 37–31.[17]

Willis finished the 2007 campaign with an NFL-leading 174 total tackles, along with four sacks, two forced fumbles, and five passes deflected. According to the 49ers, however, he is unofficially credited with over 200 tackles during that season. As a result, Willis was one of two 49ers selected to the Pro Bowl along with punter Andy Lee. Other honors earned at the conclusion of his first professional season included being named AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, first-team All-Pro, and NFL Alumni Linebacker of the Year. He was the only rookie in the NFL to make the AP All-Pro squad and the first defensive rookie from the 49ers to make the Pro Bowl since Ronnie Lott in 1981. His season was capped by being named one of ESPN The Magazine's "NEXT" athletes of 2008, alongside Yankee Joba Chamberlain and Trail Blazer Brandon Roy.

2008 season

Patrick Willis on field pregame at Eagles at 49ers 10-12-08
Willis in October 2008

In his second NFL season, Willis scored his first career NFL touchdown against Seattle, returning an interception for 86 yards.[18] On December 16, during another dominating season with the 49ers, Willis was named the starting inside linebacker for the NFC Pro Bowl team. In just two seasons, he established himself as one of the top linebackers in the NFL.[19]

At the end of the year, Willis finished second in tackles and was voted to his second consecutive Pro Bowl, this time as a starter. He was also voted second-team All-Pro, barely missing the first team as Jon Beason of Carolina Panthers collected one more vote than Willis.

2009 season

Willis started the season strong in the opener against the Arizona Cardinals. He recorded 14 tackles and an interception in a 20–16 win in Arizona. He also had a huge game in week 4 against St. Louis finishing with 8 tackles, 2.5 sacks and an interception return for a 23-yard touchdown.

The biggest improvement in his game from the previous year was the increased sideline-to-sideline range. Willis made 54 tackles on plays labeled as "Wide left" or "Wide right" which accounted for 35.5% of his total tackles. In that area, he led all inside linebackers by a large margin. He was also the league leader in impact plays with a total of 27.[20]

At the end of the year, Willis accumulated an NFL-leading 152 tackles along with four sacks, three forced fumbles, eight pass deflections and three interceptions. He has now led the league in tackles in two of his first three seasons. Willis also earned first-team All-Pro receiving 49/50 votes from the AP and was voted to his third consecutive Pro Bowl. However, shortly before the Pro Bowl, which was set in South Florida, Willis decided to play it safe and opted not to play due to a leg injury he sustained. He stayed in South Florida for the game and stood on the sideline in support of the NFC team and 49er teammates Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Justin Smith and Andy Lee.[21]

Willis was named the 2009 NFL Alumni Linebacker of the Year, an award voted on by past NFL linebackers.[22] Willis also became the second NFL player to win the Butkus Award since it was expanded in 2008 to include high school and professional winners in part to help end anabolic steroid abuse among young athletes.

2010 season

On May 4, Willis signed a five-year contract extension worth $50 million, with $29 million in guaranteed money making him the highest paid inside linebacker in the NFL.[23]

In 2010, Willis strengthened a dimension of his game, totaling a career-high 6.0 sacks. He played through the season with several injuries, playing a game against the San Diego Chargers with a cast on his broken hand. Willis was ruled out for Week 17 after undergoing a second surgery on his broken right hand. It was the first time that Willis had ever missed a game in his career. Willis had also made a habit of making it to the Pro Bowl. He had gone all four seasons of his NFL career and even with his tackle numbers down (largely due to offenses scheming against him), Willis still finished with the second-most fan votes for inside linebackers in the entire NFL.[24] He now joins Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott as only 49ers to be selected to the Pro Bowl in each of their first four seasons.

Willis also earned first-team All-Pro from the Associated Press alongside Jerod Mayo of the New England Patriots.[25] For the third time in his career, and the second year in a row, he was named Linebacker of the Year by the NFL Alumni Association.[26]

2011 season

Before the start of the 2011 season, Willis ran away from the field in the voting for the NFL's best linebacker on ESPN.com. "Nobody in the NFL plays their position better than Patrick Willis, and that is saying a lot," said Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. "He is as good a linebacker as Peyton Manning is a quarterback, as Andre Johnson is a receiver, as Adrian Peterson is a running back. He has no weaknesses."[27] Even 12-time Pro Bowler Ray Lewis, the dominant linebacker of his era, pointed to Willis as a worthy successor to his undisputed reign. ESPN's Dana Jacobson asked Lewis which young linebacker reminded him of himself. "I just love the way he plays the game," Lewis said. "He plays the game with a fire. He reminds me of myself—a lot, a lot, a lot."[28] Willis also came in fourth in an ESPN expert vote for the NFL's 10 best defensive players, finishing only behind 2010 AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Troy Polamalu, DeMarcus Ware, and Darrelle Revis. Also, when he was voted no. 10 players of 2012 (2011 season), Ray Rice and commentators noted the resemblance in playing style and techniques from Willis to Lewis from 10 years ago[29]

In 2011, Willis led a top ranked 49ers defense which set a NFL single season record of not allowing a rushing touchdown until week 16. The previous record was held by the 1920 Decatur Staleys, who did not allow a rushing touchdown in a 13-game season.[30] The 49ers' stingy defense ranked fourth overall and played a huge role in the 49ers finishing with a 13–3 record. This also marked the first time since 2002 the 49ers were division champs and back in the playoffs.

During a game against the St. Louis Rams in week 13, Willis landed awkwardly after missing a tackle and injured his right hamstring.[31] Despite missing nearly four games due to the hamstring injury, Willis finished the season with 97 tackles along with two sacks, four forced fumbles, 12 pass deflections and an interception. He also improved his game significantly in coverage recording a career-high 12 pass deflections.[32] Willis was named to his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl and becomes the first player in franchise history to make five Pro Bowl appearances to start a career.[33] In addition, he earned first-team All-Pro from the Associated Press for the third consecutive year.[34]

2012 season

During the 2012 season, Willis had 120 combined tackles, two forced fumbles (one recovery), two interceptions, nine passes defended, and 0.5 sacks. He led the 49ers into the postseason for a second straight year. Willis recorded ten combined tackles as the 49ers lost Super Bowl XLVII to the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 34–31.[35] Willis had 29 combined tackles and a sack during the 2012 postseason.

2013 season

On August 5, 2013, Willis underwent surgery to repair a fractured hand he suffered during training camp. He started the first three games of the season, but then had a groin injury in Week 3. He would then miss the next two games. However, in a game against the Atlanta Falcons, he recorded 18 tackles. He ended the 2013 season with 104 tackles.

2014 season

Willis played in six games of the 2014 season hampered by a nagging toe injury. He made the decision to end his season on November 11 and undergo season-ending surgery on his nagging left big toe, which bothered him for several previous seasons. The 49ers placed Willis on the injured reserve list soon after the surgery.[36]

After struggling with a toe injury that kept Willis sidelined for most of 2014, he announced his retirement on March 10, 2015.[37][38]

NFL statistics

NFL Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
Season Team GP GS Total Solo Ast Sacks PD Int Yds Lng TD FF FR
2007 SF 16 16 174 135 39 4.0 5 2 1
2008 SF 16 16 141 109 32 1.0 10 1 86 86T 1 1 1
2009 SF 16 16 152 114 38 4.0 8 3 33 23 1 3
2010 SF 15 15 128 101 27 6.0 5 2
2011 SF 13 13 97 74 23 2.0 12 1 10 10 0 4 2
2012 SF 16 16 120 88 32 0.5 9 2 2 2 0 2 1
2013 SF 14 14 104 82 22 3.0 1 2
2014 SF 6 6 34 29 5 0.0 3 1 0 0 0 0
Career 112 112 950 732 218 20.5 53 8 131 86T 2 16 5
Postseason Team GP GS Total Solo Ast Sacks PD Int Yds Lng TD FF FR
2011 SF 2 2 16 16 0 1.0 1
2012 SF 3 3 29 26 3 1.0
2013 SF 3 3 26 18 8 0.0 2 1 −1 −1 0
Career 8 8 71 60 11 2.0 2 1 -1 0 0 0 1

Personal life

Willis was separated from his biological father at the age of 17, with his mother leaving him when he was a child, and along with his three siblings moved in with his parental guardians, Willis' high school basketball coach, Chris Finley, and his wife, Julie.[39][40] Willis's brother, Detris, drowned in 2006 while swimming with his friends.[41][42] His uncle, Arthur Willis, was a professional super middleweight boxer who later fought future world champion James Toney to a split decision.[43]

He holds a degree in criminal justice and envisions a future in law enforcement.[39]

Willis is a Christian. Willis says his grandmother told him about Jesus. Willis talks about his faith when he plays saying, "No matter the outcome of a game, my No.1 goal is to glorify God. I always pray, 'Lord, I don't know what today's game is going to be like, but I pray that you bless me to go out here and play for you. Be a soldier for your army, go out here and lead this team the way you want me to lead it.'"[44][45]

References

  1. ^ Schultz, Jordan (July 7, 2014). "A Troubled Childhood Shaped Patrick Willis Into A Forgiving Adult And An NFL Powerhouse". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  2. ^ "49ers Web Blog: Patrick Willis in powerful commercial/". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  3. ^ "Patrick Willis". Hrbk12.org. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  4. ^ "Inside linebackers 2003". Rivals.com. February 5, 2010.
  5. ^ Colston, Chris (March 17, 2007). "Hardship toughened Willis for NFL's rigors". USA Today.
  6. ^ CollegeFootballNews.com
  7. ^ All American Football Fndtn. "All American Football Fndtn (All-American Football Foundation And Hall of Honor, Inc) – Ridgeland, Mississippi (MS) | Company Profile". Manta.com. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  8. ^ https://archive.is/20070707123104/http://www.olemisssports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=12787&SPID=737&DB_OEM_ID=2600&ATCLID=542726&Q_SEASON=2006&KEY=&DB_OEM_ID=2600&DB_LANG=&IN_SUBSCRIBER_CONTENT=. Archived from the original on July 7, 2007. Retrieved June 1, 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "SI.com – Mock Draft No. 1 (cont.) – Jan 26, 2007". CNN. January 26, 2007.
  10. ^ "NFL Events: Combine Top Performers". NFL.com. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  11. ^ "2007 NFL Combine Results – Linebackers". ESPN. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  12. ^ a b "Patrick Willis | Mississippi, ILB : 2007 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". NFL Draft Scout. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  13. ^ Corbett, Jim (September 6, 2008). "49ers' Willis on way to top of NFL's linebackers corps". USA Today.
  14. ^ "Pro Football War Room: Patrick Willis". SportingNews.com. April 29, 2007.
  15. ^ Trotter, Jim (October 10, 2007). "NFL Rookies: Patrick Willis, MLB, 49ers". Sports Illustrated.
  16. ^ http://nflcombineresults.com/playerpage.php?i=7838
  17. ^ a b Corbett, Jim (September 6, 2008). "49ers' Willis on way to top of NFL's linebackers corps". USA Today.
  18. ^ "San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks - September 14th, 2008". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  19. ^ "2009 Pro Bowl rosters". NFL.com. February 10, 2009. Archived from the original on February 1, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  20. ^ "2009 All-Pro Team". Footballsfuture.com. September 28, 2006. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  21. ^ Fucillo, David (December 29, 2009). "49ers LB Patrick Willis, TE Vernon Davis, P Andy Lee named to Pro Bowl". Niners Nation. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  22. ^ "Player of the Year Awards 2009 Winners". NFL Alumni Association. Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  23. ^ Associated Press (May 4, 2010). "Hard work pays: Niners LB Willis signs five-year, $50M extension". NFL.com. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  24. ^ Price, Taylor (December 28, 2010). "Willis, Smith Return to the Pro Bowl". 49ers.com. Archived from the original on May 31, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  25. ^ "Brady, AFC players dominate selections on AP All-Pro Team". Associated Press. January 24, 2011. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  26. ^ "49ers' Willis named NFL Alumni Linebacker of Year". CSN Bay Area. February 7, 2011. Archived from the original on July 24, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  27. ^ "Power Rankings: Top 10 NFL linebackers". espn.go.com. April 12, 2011.
  28. ^ "Video: Ray Lewis on Patrick Willis". espn.go.com. April 11, 2011.
  29. ^ Top 100 Players of 2012 – No. 10 Archived November 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ Branch, Eric (December 20, 2011). "David Akers breaks Rice's 49ers scoring mark". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  31. ^ "49ers beat Rams 26–0 for 1st playoffs since '02". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  32. ^ Kevin Seifert (May 24, 2011). "Power Rankings: Top 10 defensive players". ESPN. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  33. ^ "2012 Pro Bowl rosters". NFL.com. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  34. ^ https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AgJi_l4Nh7H3_5fbvaNW8FVDubYF?slug=ap-all-proteam. Retrieved April 22, 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  35. ^ "Super Bowl XLVII - San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens - February 3rd, 2013". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  36. ^ Hanzus, Dan. "Patrick Willis (toe) placed on 49ers' season-ending IR". NFL.com. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  37. ^ Emerick, Tyler. "Patrick Willis Explains Decision to Retire from NFL". 49ers.com. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  38. ^ "OleMissSports.com: Willis Wins Butkus Award As Collegian And Pro". Retrieved November 1, 2007.
  39. ^ a b 2010 San Francisco 49ers media guide
  40. ^ "A 49ers Linebacker With Two Men to Call Dad". The New York Times. January 20, 2012.
  41. ^ McLeod, Mark (July 27, 2006). "SEC: Willis suffers more than an injury". GatorCountry.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  42. ^ "Patrick Willis still holds foster parents dear". USA Today. January 25, 2013.
  43. ^ Professional boxing record for Arthur Willis from BoxRec
  44. ^ "Patrick Willis Gives God the Praise, Glory and Honor".
  45. ^ "Patrick Willis: My #1 Goal is to Glorify God". Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2014.

External links

2006 All-SEC football team

The 2006 All-SEC football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) chosen by the Associated Press (AP) and the conference coaches for the 2006 college football season.

The Florida Gators won the conference, beating the Arkansas Razorbacks 38 to 28 in the SEC Championship. The Gators then won a national championship, defeating the Big Ten champion Ohio State Buckeyes 41 to 14 in the BCS National Championship Game.

Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, a unanimous selection by both AP and the coaches, was voted the AP SEC Offensive Player of the Year. Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Willis, a unanimous selection by the coaches, was voted AP SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

2006 Ole Miss Rebels football team

The 2006 Ole Miss Rebels football team represented the University of Mississippi during the 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season.

2007 NFL Draft

The 2007 National Football League draft took place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, on April 28 and April 29, 2007. The draft was televised for the 28th consecutive year on ESPN and ESPN2. The NFL Network also broadcast coverage of the event, its second year doing so. There were 255 draft selections: 223 regular selections (instead of the typical 224) and 32 compensatory selections. A supplemental draft was also held after the regular draft and before the regular season. This was the first draft presided over by new NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The first round was the longest in the history of the NFL draft, lasting six hours, eight minutes. One of the big stories of the draft was the fall of Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn. Quinn had been projected as a potential first overall pick in early mock drafts and had been invited to attend the draft in person, but he wasn't selected until the 22nd pick in the first round by the Cleveland Browns, who acquired the pick in a trade with the Dallas Cowboys. Louisiana State University quarterback JaMarcus Russell was selected first overall by the Oakland Raiders after he had replaced Quinn as the projected first selection among most analysts following his performance in the 2007 Sugar Bowl against Quinn and Notre Dame. Russell is considered by many as one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history, and Quinn also had a largely unsuccessful pro career.Those selections notwithstanding, Bleacher Report named the 2007 draft class the "greatest draft class in the last 25 years" in 2012 due to the heavy volume of reliable starters, as well as players selected that are now widely regarded as future Hall of Famers, such as Patrick Willis, Darrelle Revis, and Marshal Yanda; first round selections Calvin Johnson, Joe Thomas, and Adrian Peterson are widely regarded as being among the greatest to ever play at their respective positions.

2007 San Francisco 49ers season

The 2007 San Francisco 49ers season was the franchise's 62nd season, and 58th in the National Football League. They ended their season with a disappointing record of 5–11 in 2007, failing to improve upon their 7–9 record from 2006. The 49ers offense struggled all season long as offensive coordinator Jim Hostler was subject to much scrutiny and criticism regarding his playcalling and starting quarterback Alex Smith injured his shoulder early in the season.

2009 Pro Bowl

The 2009 Pro Bowl was the National Football League's all-star game for the 2008 season. It was played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii on February 8, 2009. This was the most recent year that the game was held after the Super Bowl. The NFC defeated the AFC, 30–21.The AFC was coached by Baltimore's John Harbaugh, while the NFC's coach was Philadelphia's Andy Reid.

2009 San Francisco 49ers season

The 2009 San Francisco 49ers season was the franchise's 64th season, 60th in the National Football League, and the first full year with Mike Singletary as head coach after being named interim head coach in 2008. It is the seventh year in which the 49ers have their seventh offensive coordinator. They were looking to improve upon their 7–9 record from 2008 with the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft,The 49ers started the 2009 season hot by winning three of the first four games. Their only loss in that span was against the Minnesota Vikings on a last-second, 32-yard touchdown from QB Brett Favre to WR Greg Lewis. With that, and a week-5 blowout loss against the Atlanta Falcons, the team got a bad omen for the remainder of the year. The 49ers' defense, led by linebacker Patrick Willis, kept the 49ers in games, while their offense was inconsistent. Most of the blame was due to their weak offensive line, namely, the injury of left tackle Joe Staley in a week 7 game against the Indianapolis Colts.

The 49ers won a week 12 home game over the Jacksonville Jaguars, 20–3. The win helped keep the 49ers' season alive. Going into week 13 against the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers were heavily favored to win the game; however, critical mistakes in the game cost them the win and gave the team a huge blow of any chances of making the playoffs. The following week on Monday Night Football, the 49ers played the Arizona Cardinals, who were trying to clinch the NFC West. The 49ers' defense came out and exploded on the Cardinals top-ranked offense, causing them to turn over the ball 7 times. This was the first time San Francisco caused 7 or more turnovers in a game since forcing eight against the New Orleans Saints on September 14, 1997. The 49ers won the game 24–9, keeping their very slim playoff hopes alive. The next week they were defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles. The loss officially wiped out the 49ers from playoff contention.

Despite being benched for 5 and a half games, Alex Smith came in and threw for a career-best 2,350 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Frank Gore rushed for 1,120 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was awarded his second Pro Bowl appearance. Tight end Vernon Davis turned his career around by leading the team with 965 yards and 13 touchdowns – which tied the single-season record for most touchdowns by a tight end. Rookie wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who held out the first four games of the season, was able to put up solid numbers, with 625 receiving yards, 48 receptions, and 2 touchdowns. On defense, Patrick Willis, for the second time in his first three seasons in the league, led the NFL with 152 tackles and helped the 49ers become one of the best defensive units in the NFL. He was awarded his third straight Pro Bowl appearance.

The 49ers defense would finish the season in the top of the league in multiple categories. They finished fourth in the league in scoring defense, surrendering just 17.6 points per game. They also finished fifth in the league in forced turnovers with 33, tied for first in the league with 15 fumble recoveries and sixth in rushing defense

2011 All-Pro Team

There are three 2011 All-Pro Teams—one each named by the Associated Press (AP), Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA), and Sporting News—for performance in the 2011 NFL season. While none of these have the official imprimatur of the NFL (whose official recognition is nomination to the 2012 Pro Bowl), they are included (separately) in the NFL Record and Fact Book. Any player selected to any of the teams can be described as an "All-Pro."

The AP team, with first- and second-team selections, was chosen by a national panel of 50 NFL writers; the Sporting News selection process uses a panel of 50 NFL coaches and executives, while the PFWA team is chosen by polling its 300+ members.

2012 All-Pro Team

There are three 2012 All-Pro Teams—one each named by the Associated Press (AP), Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA), and Sporting News—for performance in the 2012 NFL season. While none of these have the official imprimatur of the NFL (whose official recognition is nomination to the 2013 Pro Bowl), they are included (separately) in the NFL Record and Fact Book. Any player selected to any of the teams can be described as an "All-Pro."

The AP team, with first- and second-team selections, was chosen by a national panel of 50 NFL writers; the Sporting News selection process used a panel of 27 NFL coaches and executives, while the PFWA team is chosen by polling its 300+ members.

2014 San Francisco 49ers season

The 2014 San Francisco 49ers season was the franchise's 65th season in the National Football League, the 69th overall and the fourth under the head coach/general manager tandem of Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke. It also marked the 49ers' inaugural season playing their home games at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

The 49ers were favorites to make another Super Bowl run at the beginning of the season. Unfortunately, they failed to improve on their 12-4 record from 2013 as several factors resulted in the team falling apart. With their loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 15, the 49ers were mathematically eliminated from the postseason, and did not qualify for the first time since 2010. After the season ended, Jim Harbaugh mutually agreed to end his contract with the 49ers.

Despite missing significant starters on the defensive side of the ball due to injuries for most of the season (including Pro-Bowlers NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis), the 49ers still finished with the NFL's fifth ranked defense in total yards while also leading the league in interceptions with 23, led by cornerback Perrish Cox, who had five. The 49ers defense also finished fourth in the league in total takeaways with 29. The offense, on the other hand, struggled mightily. The 49ers finished 30th in passing yards per game, 25th in the league averaging just 19.1 points per game while Colin Kaepernick was also sacked 52 times during the season, a team record. From Weeks 7–15, the 49ers averaged just 13.8 points per game, last in the league. During that same stretch, they hit the twenty point mark just once. They were also outscored by 81 points in the second half of games, and scored just two touchdowns in the fourth quarter all year. As a result, offensive coordinator Greg Roman was fired after the season ended.

Butkus Award

The Butkus Award, instituted in 1985 by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, is given annually to the top linebackers at the high school, collegiate and professional levels of football. The award, named in honor of College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker, Dick Butkus, is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports a number of health and wellness activities including the "I Play Clean" anti-steroid program. The award was first established by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, which relinquished control of the award in 2008 following a lawsuit by Butkus.Traditionally, the award was given only to the top collegiate linebacker. The Butkus Award was expanded in 2008 to include high school and professional winners as part of a makeover by the Butkus family to help end anabolic steroid abuse among young athletes. Two players have won both the high school and collegiate Butkus Awards: Notre Dame linebackers Manti Te'o (2008, 2012) and Jaylon Smith (2012, 2015).

Chucky Mullins

Roy Lee "Chucky" Mullins (July 8, 1969 in Russellville, Alabama – May 6, 1991 in Memphis, Tennessee) was an American football player at Ole Miss (University of Mississippi) best known for the devastating football injury that left him a quadriplegic.

Conerly Trophy

The Conerly Trophy or Cellular South Conerly Trophy or C Spire Conerly Trophy is an award given annually to the best college football player in the state of Mississippi by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

Jason Willis

Jason Patrick Willis (born July 26, 1980) is an American football wide receiver who is currently a free agent.

Jon Beason

Jonathan "Jon" Beason (born January 14, 1985) is a former American football linebacker who played in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Miami, and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He also played for the New York Giants.

Madden NFL 13

Madden NFL 13 is an American football video game based on the National Football League, published by EA Sports and developed by EA Tiburon. EA's Chief Creative Officer, Richard Hilleman, said that defense would receive various changes in mechanics and controls, one of the first known changes in the game. Part of the Madden NFL series, the game was released in 2012. For the first time in the series, the game was officially released in Brazil, due to the explosive growth of the sport in the country.

This was the last Madden game released on the Wii, the first and only to be released on the Wii U and PlayStation Vita, and the final in the series to be available for non-mobile phone handhelds and Nintendo systems. It was the first game of the series since Madden NFL 2002 to not feature EA Trax and instead only had instrumental music, which was met with criticism.A 64-player fan vote tournament to determine the cover athlete began on March 7, 2012. The vote-in round matched up a pair of teammates from each of the 32 NFL teams, the winners of which were seeded in a 32-player bracket. The cover features Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions.

National Football League Alumni

The NFL Alumni Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is composed of former National Football League (NFL) players, coaches, team staff members and associate members who work voluntarily to raise funds for youth-oriented causes and engage in hands-on service to foster the development of "youth through sports and sports through youth". It was founded in 1967.

The NFL Alumni advances its motto of "Caring for Kids" from its national headquarters at 1 Washington Park in Newark, New Jersey and an additional 30 chapters across the country. The NFL Alumni is a dues-paying membership association. Anyone who ever played professional football qualifies to join as a Player member while team personnel are Professional Members. Individuals who did not play in the NFL may enroll in a limited category as Associate Members. The cornerstone of the NFL Alumni's fundraising efforts is its Charity Golf Classic Tour which began in 1979. Among its programs for former players is the Dire Need Trust that provides financial assistance for former NFL players in need. Another program is the Pro Legends Speakers Bureau, which books former NFL players for personal appearances around the country.

Since 1982 the NFL Alumni has held the Player of the Year Awards Dinner honoring the top 10 players and coach from the previous NFL season. The players are honored by a unique voting process in which former players cast ballots for their modern counterparts. Former pros vote only for the positions they once played themselves.

Ole Miss Rebels football statistical leaders

The Ole Miss Rebels football statistical leaders are individual statistical leaders of the Ole Miss Rebels football program in various categories, including passing, rushing, receiving, total offense, defensive stats, and kicking. Within those areas, the lists identify single-game, single-season, and career leaders. The Rebels represent the University of Mississippi in the NCAA's Southeastern Conference.

Although Ole Miss began competing in intercollegiate football in 1893, the school's official record book considers the "modern era" to have begun in 1933. Records from before this year are often incomplete and inconsistent, and they are generally not included in these lists.

These lists are dominated by more recent players for several reasons:

Since 1933, seasons have increased from 10 games to 11 and then 12 games in length.

The NCAA didn't allow freshmen to play varsity football until 1972 (with the exception of the World War II years), allowing players to have four-year careers.

Bowl games only began counting toward single-season and career statistics in 2002. The Rebels have played in eight bowl games since then, allowing players to accumulate stats for an additional game in those seasons.

The Rebels have accumulated over 5,000 offensive in each of the last seven seasons.These lists are updated through the end of the 2018 season.

Patrick Willis (judge)

Patrick Lee Willis (born February 1, 1950) is a Circuit Court judge in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. Willis gained national recognition when he presided over the highly publicized Steven Avery homicide trial in 2007; his rulings regarding the admissibility of certain key pieces of evidence were frequent sources of news stories.

Sports Action Team

Sports Action Team was a half-hour comedy television series that ran for two seasons in 2006-2007. It was aired by some affiliates of the NBC network and the high definition channel HDNet. It was a semi-improvisational mockumentary depicting the production of a fictional sports news show of the same name. Originally intended as a sport-related program to fill air time after Sunday football games on the west coast, the first season eventually expanded to most major NBC markets around the country (including all NBC Owned and Operated stations). The show's second season is shot in high definition, and is distributed by MGM Television. It is produced by Chicago-based Towers Productions, Inc.The regular cast was Al Samuels, Kevin Fleming, Steven Fleming, Antoine McKay, Katie Nahnsen, and Niki Lindgren, who have a background in Chicago area improvisational theater and play characters with the same first names. It also regularly features appearances by professional athletes. Athletes that made appearances on the show include Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, Rudi Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals, former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, Randy Moss of the New England Patriots, Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers, and IndyCar racer Danica Patrick. Several non-athletes have made appearances, such as The Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien and former Access Hollywood host Nancy O'Dell. Each show includes several appearances by athletes who are included in the shows plot lines.

Patrick Willis

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