Titans rookie linebacker Jonathan Willard helps save family from burning car

Brian McIntyre
Shutdown Corner

Tennessee Titans rookies and veterans report to the team's Nashville, Tenn. headquarters for training camp. For undrafted rookie linebacker Jonathan Willard, he took some time on his way to camp to play the role of hero.

According to TigerNet.com, via Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, Willard was driving on I-40 in Tennessee when his vehicle was approaching a vehicle with a female driver, three children and a dog who were unaware that their car was on fire. Willard honked his horn to get the attention of the driver, who then pulled over.

"When she pulled over, the car was really on fire at that point," Willard told Tigernet.com, Clemson's official website. "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, then I finally got the woman out.

"She just kept thanking me," Willard added. "That car was just gone. It went up quick."

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During his 52-game career at Clemson, the 6-foot-1, 231-pound Willard totaled 204 tackles, including 16.5 for a loss, and is coming off a season where he set career-highs with 85 tackles, three sacks and five passes defensed. Willard received a $2,000 signing bonus from the Titans and the outside linebacker will be vying for a roster spot during the preseason. If he can prevent first downs and touchdowns the way he prevented a tragedy on the highway, Willard has a good chance of sticking in Nashville.

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