William Cordell Witherspoon was born 8/19/1980 in San Antonio, TX. Will's father was a military officer, so his family moved several times when he was growing up. They eventually settled in Panama City, FL, where Will attended Rutherford High School. Will played defensive end and linebacker in high school, and was named the USA Today Florida Player of the Year as a senior.
Will played his collegiate football at the University Of Georgia where he was a three year starter and majored in landscape architecture.
Will and his wife Rebecca have three daughters and reside in Wildwood, MO.
Will was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the third round (#73) of the 2002 NFL Draft. He spent his first year filling in for the oft-injured Dan Morgan at MLB, and started every game of the 2003 and 2004 seasons, including Super Bowl XXXVIII after the 2003 season. His last season with Carolina saw him play in only 15 games.
Will signed a 6 year, $33 million contract with the St Louis Rams as an UFA in 2006. He played for the Rams from 2006 thru the first few months of the 2009 season, and was named the team MVP after the 2007 season.
Will signed a 3 year, $11 million deal with the Tennessee Titans on March 9th, 2010.
Will participated in the 2002 NFL Combine. Some of his measurables from that Combine:
40 yd dash: 4.58 20 yd shuttle: 4.21 3 cone drill: 7.09 Vert Jump: 38 in Broad Jump: 10' 2"
Will also bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times.
Will's career defensive totals:
- Will posted his career high in tackles/season in St Louis in 2006, sacks in St Louis in 2007 and interceptions in Carolina in 2004.
- Will posted his career high in tackles/game in Super Bowl 38 against New England, with 16.
- He intercepted his first career pass off Aaron Brooks against New Orleans.
- Will has returned two interceptions for touchdowns, one for Carolina and one for Philadelphia.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING:
Witherspoon is an eight-year veteran who can play the ILB or OLB position. He is a quick read and react player whose lateral quickness and agility allow him to make a lot of plays inside out. He lacks true MLB size and strength however and is better when he can flow to the ball without having to take on contact. He has good burst, change of direction and acceleration to the ball. He breaks down quickly and can make sound tackles in space or in traffic. Witherspoon is quick enough to slip contact on his path to the ball but is inconsistent with his hand use and gets stuck when forced to take on a lot of OL contact. He has very good acceleration and speed to the perimeter. He is agile in space, can break down quickly and shows good body control. In coverage, he has very good awareness and instincts along with good solid range. He can get plenty of depth in his pass drops, read the QB and show good closing quickness to tackle. Overall, a solid starting LB who can play inside or outside if needed.
I’ve thought getting a veteran linebacker was a priority, because I envision Stephen Tulloch and Gerald McRath as starters in 2010 and thought the Titans needed a veteran leader, not a kid, in the third spot. They can afford to be younger at defensive end and cornerback.
WELCOME TO NASHVILLE, WILL!
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