Originally posted 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
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Art Briles sues Baylor officials for libel, slander

Giants FB has home vandalized with swastika, Trump's name

Raiders G Kelechi Osemele out Thursday with illness

Red Sox send Brewers $100 as final piece of Tyler Thornburg deal

Troy Aikman almost came out of retirement to play for the Eagles

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Blues miss morning skate due to traffic in Brooklyn

Oregon president no fan of DC Brady Hoke

Carmelo blows off Jackson's ball hog remarks, looks 'annoyed'

Richard Sherman gives logical take on Cam Newton's benching

Sandoval's career fell 'into an abyss' after getting 'complacent'

Report: NFL believes Oakland ‘has no strong desire’ to keep the Raiders

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

Four stinkiest games remaining on the 2016 NFL schedule

Ten young NBA players developing into stars

TailGreater: Tips for bowl travelers

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 12/7: The date we got to know Bo

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 2: News, notes and rumors

Ten most intriguing non-NY6 bowl games

Breaking down the NFL playoff picture heading into Week 14

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

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

TailGreater: Tips for bowl travelers

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

The five must-have sports games of 2016

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

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