SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Former Ole Miss All-America linebacker Patrick Willis has been elected to the 2019 College Football Hall of Fame Class as announced Monday by the National Football Foundation.
Willis becomes the 10th former player or coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as an Ole Miss Rebel. Two other members of the Ole Miss family have also been enshrined in the hall.
Willis, along with the 14 other Hall of Fame selections, will be officially inducted on Dec. 10.
“No one has ever been more deserving of such an honor as Patrick Willis,” said Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke, who served on the Rebel staff during Willis’ collegiate career. “We are so proud to see Patrick continue our rich Hall of Fame tradition. He persevered through so much to excel at both the college and professional level, and he belongs among the best to ever play the game.”
Other inductees are:
• Terrell Buckley of Pascagoula (DB, Florida State, 1989-91)
• Rickey Dixon (DB, Oklahoma, 1984-87)
• London Fletcher (LB, John Carroll, 1995-97)
• Jacob Green (DL, Texas A&M 1977-79)
• Raghib Ismail (KR/WR, Notre Dame, 1988-90)
• Darren McFadden (RB, Arkansas, 2005-07)
• Jake Plummer (QB, Arizona St., 1993-96)
• Troy Polamalu (DB, Southern California, 1999-02)
• Joe Thomas (OL, Wisconsin, 2003-06)
• Lorenzo White (RB, Michigan St., 1984-87)
• Vince Young (QB, Texas, 2003-05)
• Dennis Erickson (Coach)
• Joe Taylor (Coach)
Willis, a four-year letterwinner for the Rebels from 2003 to 2006, is one of the most decorated defensive players in Ole Miss football history. As a senior, he was a consensus All-American in 2006 when he won the Butkus Award and Lambert Trophy as the nation’s best linebacker.
He twice led the Southeastern Conference in tackles and was selected to the most first team All-American squads (13) ever by a Rebel player in a single season. A first team All-American in 2005 and 2006, he was also a two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
The senior team captain ranks sixth all-time at Ole Miss with 355 career tackles, and he is tied for fifth with 33 career tackles for loss. Willis was the recipient of the 2006 Conerly Trophy as the best college football player in the state of Mississippi and the Ole Miss Chucky Mullins Courage Award. The Bruceton, Tennessee, native ended his collegiate career as the Defensive MVP for the South Team in the 2007 Senior Bowl.