Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 1/28/13
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis had dreams growing up like any other kid who plays football. And like most others, not all of them came true. In the long term, Willis achieved his goal. He is an NFL linebacker and arguably the best in the game. However, Willis had one let down when he was still in high school that he says brought him to tears. Willis grew up in Bruceton, Tenn. with dreams of playing for the University of Tennessee. To his disappointment, the Vols never showed any interest. “I wanted to go there so bad,” Willis told The Tennessean on Monday. “After every (high school) 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.” It apparently had no effect. Tennessee never recruited Willis at any point during his senior year of high school. He ended up at Ole Miss, and from there he went on to be selected by the Niners in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Everything worked out for the best, but Willis was not shy in discussing how crushed he was that the Vols didn’t want him. “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,” he explained. “The coaches never shook my hand. They never talked to me. … “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.” Tennessee missed out. Ole Miss is glad they did. As Willis put it, “The Lord had a plan for me.” Had he gone to Tennessee, who knows if he would have ended up being drafted by San Francisco. Considering the Niners are about to compete for a Super Bowl, I’d say the Vols did him a favor. H/T SbB Live The post Patrick Willis says he cried when Tennessee didn’t recruit him in high school appeared first on Larry Brown Sports. Related posts: Patrick Willis responds to Matt Millen criticism: Who is this guy? Patrick Willis: It’s 49ers’ destiny to reach Super Bowl Patrick Willis: Unimpressed by David Carr
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Wilson, Seahawks agree to four-year, $86.7M contract

Report: Former Jets exec leaked false Deflategate info to ESPN

Belichick on sticking it to NFL: 'Really not very important to me'

Yankees, Astros reportedly both pursuing Craig Kimbrel

Urban Meyer hints JT Barrett leads Ohio State starting QB competition

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Boras: Marlins players are angry Marcell Ozuna is in minors

Report: Chancellor officially holding out of training camp

Cardinals' Jen Welter is 'tired of hearing about Tom Brady's balls'

Sandoval downplays talk about weight, conditioning, defense

Astros acquire Carlos Gomez from Brewers

Richardson charged for resisting arrest after high-speed chase

Rickie Fowler aces final hole, treats media to free beers

SEC remains college football's best conference

The Rock 'pretty disappointed,' but defends Hulk Hogan

Urban Meyer will make us wait on OSU's starting QB decision

Compelling camp competitions: #5 Bradford vs. Sanchez

Five most overrated NFL players heading into 2015 season

Giants acquire Mike Leake from Reds for two prospects

Twins closer's wife pens essay about Twitter hate he's enduring

Kings set to make Lieberman NBA’s second female coach

Is Julius Randle a star?

Projecting the prospects in the David Price trade

'Miracle on Ice' goalie selling Olympic gear for $5.7 million

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

Can Preller fix the mess in San Diego?

Next summer's top 10 NBA free agents

Who is the NL's new top shortstop?

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians calls Jen Welter a 'trailblazer'

Mets still act like a small-market team

Tom Brady: I did nothing wrong

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker