Bruceton’s Willlis among Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame class

Former San Francisco 49ers linebacker and Bruceton native Patrick Willis is among nine athletes announced Thursday for the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Willis was an outstanding football player for the Bruceton Central Tigers, where he was the first player in Tennessee history to be nominated for both the Mr. Football Award for lineman and Mr. Football Award for back in the same season.

Willis was drafted out of Ole Miss by the San Francisco 49ers in 2007 where he played for eight seasons.

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame class also features former Tennessee Vols quarterback and five-time and two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning, and George Taliaferro, a Tennessee native who became the first African-American drafted by an NFL team. Taliaferro is being honored posthumously along with former major league catcher Bob Tillman.

Other inductees include longtime NFL assistant coach Kippy Brown, Duke football coach and former Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe, Fox football analyst and former Tennessee safety Charles Davis, ESPN broadcaster and former Lady Vols basketball player Kara Lawson, and former Sewanee basketball player Kimberly Anne Valek.

The class will be inducted June 15.

The Hall of Fame announced earlier that Tennessee Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk will be honored as its 2019 Tennessean of the year.

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