Who needs Jesus when you have Patrick Willis?
The Niners’ first pick in yesterday’s draft already has the Bay Area media eating out of the palm of his linebacker hands. Consider Gwen Knapp:
The answers about Patrick Willis, the team’s top pick Saturday, might have been obvious to even the most casual of scouts. His life story reads like a movie of the week. Willis spent most of his childhood as a quasi-parent to his three younger siblings, taking up the slack for a mom who deserted the family very early and a father who ultimately had to surrender the kids to foster care.Willis made the honor roll as a freshman at Ole Miss. He played in pain and, as Bulldogs coach Ed Orgeron put it, “made all-American with a broken hand.”
Or perhaps Kevin Lynch:
Linebackers coach Mike Singletary was unhappy on a rainy day in Mobile, Ala. at the Senior Bowl when a South-squad linebacker failed to stop the North’s tight ends. Singletary, who coached the South with the rest of the 49ers’ coaching staff in January, called over Mississippi player Patrick Willis and asked him if he could play outside linebacker.Willis had just finished his stint as the starting middle linebacker, where he had practiced in the week leading up to the game. Without qualms, Willis jumped back in at a new position.
Snarkiness aside, Willis is widely considered a can’t-miss draftee. He won the Butkus Award as the nation’s best linebacker, and pretty much every article on him describes him as a solid citizen and a “do-everything” linebacker. Looks like another stellar move in an offseason full of upheaval.
The upcoming Niners season is beginning to look suspiciously positive.
A sure thing, and plenty of surprises [SFGate]
Willis hopes to pull inside job [SFGate]