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Patrick Willis    

Former NFL All-Pro & San Francisco 49ers Linebacker

Patrick is arguably the greatest linebacker in the game today. After an outstanding collegiate career at Ole Miss, where he won the Butkus Award, SEC Defensive POY and received All-American honors, he was the 11th overall selection in the 2007 NFL Draft. Patrick made an immediate impact as a rookie, earning First-Team All-Pro, Pro Bowl and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. His superman-like performances week-in and week-out have led to six consecutive All-Pro selections and seven Pro Bowl selections. In addition, he is also the only 49er to earn Pro Bowl honors in each of his first seven seasons. Patrick’s road to prominence did not come without immense challenges. At the ripe age of 10, Patrick worked in a cotton field among other jobs to help support his family. He and his siblings were separated from their biological father when he was 16. Chris and Julie Finley, then in their 20’s, selflessly became guardians for the Willis children. Chris was a math teacher and Patrick’s basketball coach at the high school; Julie Finley taught 5th grade. Their love and dedication to the Willis children has led Patrick to refer to them as mom and dad to this day. Patrick believes his upbringing as a youth made him into the hard-working and humble person he is today.

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Patrick Willis speaks on retirement - San Jose Mercury News

Watch live: 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis announces retirement.

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