San Francisco 49ers Fathead

Patrick Willis Biography

Patrick Willis is an outstanding linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. The 6-1 240 pound Willis is extremely versatile, able to play either inside or outside linebacker. Willis was born on January 25, 1985 in Bruceton, Tennessee and played his college football at Mississippi. While at Ole Miss’ Willis was given the Butkus Award following the 2006 season, awarded to college football’s best linebacker. Willis said he dedicated the season to his younger brother Detris Willis, who drowned at the age of 17. "I know he's smiling," Patrick Willis said. "He's probably more happy than I am, wishing that he could be here accepting it for me. He's with me, and I'm going to continue to keep him in my heart whether I play another down of football or not." (1)


Patrick Willis Jersey #52

Player Info

Height 6' 1"
Weight 240 lbs
DOB: 1/25/1985


NFL Draft

2007/Round 1/Pick 11

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Career Highlights

Pro Bowl 2007, 2008
Awards 2006 Butkus Award
2007 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

Team(s) As A Player

San Francisco 49ers 2007-Present


Patrick Willis 49ers

After Willis’ outstanding 2006 campaign when he was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Willis upped is draft status by winning the MVP award in the Senior Bowl. Then Patrick Willis 40 time was an eye-popping 4.37 seconds to help solidify his standing as the best linebacker entering the 2007 NFL Draft. Willis was selected with the 11th overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers. “All my life I've brought the attitude to work and improve myself,” Willis said. “So stepping up to this level, I'm going to have to do the same thing, regardless of what background I came from. Once you're in the NFL, everybody's got something to prove. It doesn't matter where you come from, as long as you show up when it's time.” (2)

Patrick Willis Defensive Rookie of the Year

After his selection in the first round by the San Francisco 49ers, Patrick Willis did not disappoint. Willis had 174 tackles, four sacks, and two forced fumbles. The Niners defense improved and Willis was voted Defensive Rookie of the Year and went to the Pro Bowl.

Patrick Willis’ Greatest Game

The San Francisco 49ers were playing against the St. Louis Rams on October 4, 2009. Most people expected the 49ers to win, but few believed they would destroy the Rams 35-0. Unfortunately, not enough people know how good Patrick Willis really is. I have been saying for two years he is the best linebacker in the NFL. On this day he presented plenty of proof to back up my claim.

The third-year linebacker had what might have been the best game of his career as he returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to go with 8 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, 3 tackles for losses, 3 quarterback "hurries" and 1 pass defended. "I'm glad he's on my team," Hill said. "I love watching him play."

The ever humble, Willis said, "It's not about me. It's about us playing together as one. That's what counts. I think we've done that today. I always feel like there's room for improvement. That's one of the best games I've had since I've been in the league, but there's so much more room for improvement." (3)

Patrick Willis Career

So far, Patrick Willis has been a regular at the Pro Bowl, going after his first two seasons. He is on his way to his third Pro Bowl following this season. As the 49ers improve and more NFL fans see him play, I will no longer be a lonely voice stating that Patrick Willis is currently the best linebacker in the NFL.

By A. Goodin,
October 6, 2009

Patrick Willis Biography Sources

(1)  Ole Miss' Willis takes the prestigious Butkus: Mississippi linebacker Patrick Willis is awed at getting the award from Dick Butkus (2006, December 8) The Orlando Sentinel
(3)  Shut 'em down, move ahead (2009, October 5) San Francisco Chronicle

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