Patrick Willis

Year Honored:
University of Mississippi


Patrick Willis, one of the nation’s top defensive football players, has been called “a linebacker who can do it all.” From his hometown in Bruceton, Tennessee, Patrick went to the University of Mississippi where he played all four years and earned many top honors for his play. In 2006, his senior year, Patrick was distinguished as a First Team All-American by Associated Press,, Football Writers’ Association of America,, The Gridiron Gazette,,, The Sporting News and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He received the Conerly Trophy as Mississippi’s best college football player and won the 2006 Butkus Award recognizing the best linebacker in the country. Patrick is only the second player from the SEC to win the Butkus award. Patrick was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press and the league’s coaches. He was a finalist for the Nagurski Award and a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award and the Lott Trophy Award. He led the SEC in tackles with 11.4 per game, which also ranked sixth in the NCAA. Patrick ranks third in the NCAA in solo tackles. He won numerous Player of the Week honors during the season. Known for his work ethic, genuine kindness and community service, Patrick Willis was named to the 2006 SEC “Good Works” team and received the Chucky Mullins Courage Award. He is rated No.10 on’s “Best College Football Players of 2006,” the highest among six players from the SEC.

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