Quick reflexes and situational awareness are key attributes for any player looking to make his way into the National Football League. Tennessee Titans linebacker Jonathan Willard just didn’t expect those skills to be needed so desperately while driving down the freeway to report for training camp.
According to David Hood of TigerNet.com – a site that covers Clemson University athletics – Willard helped save a woman, her three children and their dog from a car fire while driving to report for camp on Tuesday.
Willard was driving along Interstate 40 in Tennessee when he noticed a car driving along the road with black smoke spewing from the vehicle. He flagged the car down and got the woman driving the car to pull it over to the side of the road.
The car quickly became overrun by flames.
“When she pulled over, the car was really on fire at that point,” Willard said. “The driver, she acted like she was in some kind of daze or something. She told me that she didn’t stop because she didn’t think it was her car that was on fire. Another guy stopped, and we managed to get the kids and the dog out and get them to safety, and then I finally got the woman out.”
Willard went undrafted and signed with the Titans after a productive career at Clemson. As a senior, Willard recorded 95 tackles with 10.5 for loss and three sacks.
With the number of arrests seen this offseason involving NFL players it’s great to see a player getting in the news for the all the right reasons.