Patrick Willis wanted to be a Vol

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by Titans Insider, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Titans Insider

    Titans Insider Titans News

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    NEW ORLEANS 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis is a six-time Pro Bowler and widely considered the best at his position in the NFL.

    He’s set to play in Super Bowl XLVII here on Sunday against the Ravens.

    Willis, who’s from Bruceton, Tenn., got some of his motivation by being passed over by the University of Tennessee in the recruiting process.

    I asked him here Sunday night on whether he wanted to go to UT. He was very open in his response.

    “Yes I did. I was a Vols fan growing up. That was like America’s Team. I wanted to go there so bad. After every game my dad and I would get in the car and drive five hours to go to Knoxville to watch them play on an unofficial visit. This was on our gas money and our time. I just wanted to show them how bad I wanted to be there,’’ Willis said.

    “I can’t forget being there and you have all these other big-time recruits there and they are shaking their hands and the coaches are talking to them. The coaches never shook my hand. They never talked to me. One day I just got tired of doing that. My senior year, I remember going up and saying, ‘Coach I see all of the other guys getting love. I really want to come here. I’m interested in coming here. Do you have something for me? Maybe a scholarship offer? Maybe something just saying you want me?’

    But the Vols never showed interest in signing Willis, who ended up signing with Ole Miss. The school had other players in mind.

    It hurt, but Willis said it worked out in the long run. He was a first round pick by the 49ers in 2011.

    “I’ll never forget getting in the car with my foster dad and we’re riding home and I cried. I cried, not because I was sad, but more so because I knew how badly I wanted to be a Tennessee Vol. I knew what type of player I could be,’’ Willis said.

    “I’m sorry that I didn’t go to a 5A school. I’m sorry that I wasn’t in a town that could be recognized, but we are what we are. We are in the situation that we’re in. The good Lord had a plan for me. I ended up going to Ole Miss. I went there and had a blast and had a great time playing football there. Here I am all these years later. The Lord had a plan for me.”

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    Source: Titans Insider
    #1
  2. JCBRAVE

    JCBRAVE Tweet me @JCBRAVE

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    This is a very common thing. But hey, imagine if everything went Willis' way, might not have become the best MLB playing right now without that chip on his shoulder.
    #2
  3. Tennessy XO

    Tennessy XO @TennessyXO

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    Talk to Fulmer.

    Willis wasn't the only in-state guy he completely ignored.
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  4. Alex1939

    Alex1939 Old Man Tip Jar Donor

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    Fulmer near the end.
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  5. The Playmaker

    The Playmaker pineapple pizza party

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    dude was a beast at Ole Miss

    oh and Ole Miss is recruiting very well right now and have a good coach in Freeze
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  6. RavensShallBurn

    RavensShallBurn Ruck the Favens

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    Strange how he and Oher went to school together and both have similar stories. They came from nothing and random families were kind enough to care for them.
    #6
  7. Ghost

    Ghost 3 Time US Navy 7th Fleet "Hogging" Champion

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    How exactly is this TitansInsider news?

    and don't worry about it Willis... that orange is nasty.
    #7
  8. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow CEO of PPO

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    While I never met that family while I was in Memphis, I knew several people that did and they said it was not surprising.
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  9. RavensShallBurn

    RavensShallBurn Ruck the Favens

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    That's not really what I'm getting it. It's just a big coincidence that both of them went to the same school and were raised by complete strangers.

    Not many people know about Willis' story, but it's basically the same exact thing as Oher's.

    Wish my family had been smart enough to adopt a black kid who would grow up to be a millionaire!
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  10. Gunny

    Gunny Lord and Master Tip Jar Donor

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    Really? I'd be wishing my parents had good enough genes so I could be an NFL player (or smart enough to be a millionaire).
    #10