After tough upbringing, 49ers’ Willis living the dream

San Francisco 49ers: Is Patrick Willis’ Greatness Really Flying Under the Radar?


But Willis’ football feats will never measure up to what he’s accomplished off the field by simply surviving. When Willis was 10, he occasionally worked in cotton fields to help provide financial support for his family. When he was 16, Willis had to physically stop his father from hitting Willis’ younger sister. Shortly thereafter, Willis’ high school basketball coach, Chris Finley, became the legal guardian to Willis and his three younger siblings. When Willis was 21, his younger brother Detris, died in a drowning incident. Through it all, Willis has simply risen from circumstances where many others would’ve crumbled. “Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything I’ve gone through, because it’s made me who I am” said Willis, who was at Gunn High School in Palo Alto this month leading hundreds of youths through football related activities via Procamps, which has partnered with a number of different companies, including Popchips, Duracell and Walmart. “Life is always going to have its ups and downs, but when you start thinking about how you wish things could be different, just take a moment to pause because there’s someone I know who is in a worse position than I am.” Willis, 28, has exceeded everyone’s expectations but his own.

Patrick Willis will carry on Lewis’ No. 52 legacy

With the 11th pick in the 2007 NFL draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Patrick Willis , linebacker, Ole Miss. Slightly exaggerated statements notwithstanding, Willis arrived at a time when this once reputable franchise was in the midst of four consecutive losing seasons. He suffered through three of his own during the first four years of his professional career. Despite the losing pedigree, Willis infused a sense of proficiency, greatness and a downright winning mentality in the San Francisco air. Anyone following the 49ers could intuit the special qualities of this linebacker from Bruceton, Tenn. It certainly didnt take long for those bestowing pro football honors to take notice. Willis defied the odds that plague most rookies by earning Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors in his first go-around in the NFL.

Patrick Willis still holds foster parents dear

However, he feels he has improved his skills and game during the OTAs and minicamps due to preparation every day. Willis has been the franchise player for the 49ers defense since being drafted in 2007. He has consistently been ranked as one of the top players at his position throughout his career. Willis has specialized at tackling and covering assignments in the box but is also great at coverage. Even though the spring practices are not considered to be the most valuable for veteran players, Willis has made an effort to be at practice every day because he wants perfection. The hunger to be greater than before has kept him motivated. “Mentally, I’m in a place I’ve never been before,” he said.

Patrick Willis has had it with these snakes on his patio

They consulted their families and their church, but there wasn’t much time for talk as the children could be sent to another county far from home within 24 hours. “I said, ‘Sure, that’s something we could do. Why not?’ ” Julie recalls. “Looking back, we were 25 and we thought we could do anything. Everybody else said, ‘Do you have any idea what you’re getting into?’ ” They didn’t. The state gave them the four Willis kids, and they kept them through the summer.

Willis newest job as a pitchman seemed to be going well. Although, he really does seem sincere about the shoes. Im not just saying I like em, said Willis, who needs a sturdy workout shoe since staying in shape this time of year is his job (plus making a few extra bucks pushing a product or two). Willis shot the commercial back in March and when he was on a break shooting, he called to tout the shoes and talk 49ers. This, was of course, before the draft in which his team took two linebackers, Auburns Corey Lemonier in the third round and Florida States Nick Moody in the sixth round. Moody, should he prove his worth in training camp, could wind up backing up Willis. Trent Baalke, the scouts, they all do a great job bringing in talent, Willis said.

Patrick Willis stars in funny new shoe commercial

Get Adobe Flash player

He plays the game with a certain passion, and plays with a certain discipline. Honestly, I really enjoy watching the young man play. Willis, the 11th overall draft pick in 2007 out of Mississippi, is the centerpiece of a San Francisco defense that returned everyone from the 2011 team that came so close to making the Super Bowl. The Niners lost 20-17 in overtime of the NFC title game to the eventual champion New York Giants. Willis and his teammates used that loss as motivation and ultimately got the franchise back to the NFL title game for the first time in 18 years. Getting back to No. 52, Willis said he was given a choice of numbers when he was drafted 51, 57, 59 or 52.

Willis believes he can be better from first six seasons

Get Adobe Flash player

(Photo: Patrick Willis/Facebook) San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis channeled his best Samuel L. Jackson inSnakes on a Plane, posting a photo on Facebook Sunday of a large bloodied gopher snake on his property that he apparently shot with a pellet gun. Never a dull moment, Willis posted. I had an intruder in my house welcome to the hills. Got em As one would anticipate, Willis post quickly devolved into a political argument, with over 2,000 people weighing in with opinions like u go patrick , a snake is a snake KILLLLLL KILLLL to Are you out of your mind, Patrick? What a freaking idiot. You are a sickening human being. And how would the edited version of Jackson respond to such chatter? (Thanks to Deadspin for the link)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s