Willie McGinest

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Willie McGinest
Willie McGinest at ESPN Weekend 2008.jpg
McGinest at the 2008 ESPN the Weekend event at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
No. 55
Outside linebacker / Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1971-12-11) December 11, 1971 (age 42)
Place of birth: Long Beach, California
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Weight: 270 lb (122 kg)
Career information
High school: Long Beach (CA) Poly
College: Southern California
NFL Draft: 1994 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
Debuted in 1994 for the New England Patriots
Last played in 2008 for the Cleveland Browns
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles 582
Quarterback sacks 86.0
Interceptions 5
Stats at NFL.com

William Lee McGinest, Jr. (born December 11, 1971) is a former American football linebacker who played fifteen seasons in the National Football League (NFL).

Early life and career[edit]

The second of three children, McGinest attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School, where he garnered all-state honors in football and baseball. In football, he earned All-American recognition from Super Prep, Blue Chip and Tom Lemming magazines and was selected to several all-star teams, earning all-city, all-state, and all-region honors as a linebacker in 1989. He totaled 107 tackles, including 18 sacks, two fumble recoveries, four passes defensed, including an interception, and blocked four kicks as a senior. In 2009, McGinest was elected to Poly's Football Hall of Fame. [2] On the court, he earned Long Beach Press-Telegram "Best in the West," All-CIF Southern Section and all-league honors while averaging 14 points per game during the 1989-90 season.

College career[edit]

From 1990 to 1993, McGinest played football at the University of Southern California. He wore number 55. McGinest earned all-conference honors three straight years and All-American acclaim. During his senior year, he was a Lombardi Award finalist, and earned All-American and All-Pac-10 conference honors. He started every game at weakside defensive end for the Trojans. McGinest finished his collegiate career with 193 tackles (134 solos), 29 sacks (171 yards), 48 tackles for loss (238 yards) and 26 passes batted away. McGinest received a degree in public administration from USC in 1994.

NFL career[edit]

New England Patriots[edit]

McGinest was drafted by the New England Patriots in the first round (fourth overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft. He was one of the cornerstones for New England's success in winning the Super Bowl in 2001, 2003, and 2004. He was named to the Pro Bowl twice, in 1996 and 2003.

In Super Bowl XXXIX, McGinest was used in a different manner than his regular role. While he usually lines up as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, the Patriots moved him to the defensive line as a defensive end in an effort to keep Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb from scrambling.

In a 2005 wild card playoff win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, McGinest eclipsed two NFL postseason records—most sacks in a game (4.5) and most career postseason sacks (16), surpassing Bruce Smith.

His 78 career sacks rank third all time for the Patriots.

The Patriots released McGinest on March 9, 2006.

Cleveland Browns[edit]

On March 15, 2006, McGinest signed with the Cleveland Browns, reuniting with head coach Romeo Crennel, who was the Patriots' defensive coordinator during McGinest's stint in New England. McGinest signed a three-year deal worth $12 million with $6 million in guarantees and bonuses. McGinest stated in an interview prior to the 2008 season that he would be playing his final year of professional football before retiring in the offseason. In July 2009, McGinest stated that he would like to end his career with the Patriots.[1]

NFL records[edit]

  • Most career postseason sacks (16)
  • Most sacks in a playoff game: 4.5 (2005)

Patriots franchise records[edit]

  • Most fumble return touchdowns (2) (tied with 5 others)[2]

NFL Network[edit]

Following retirement, McGinest joined the NFL Network as a football analyst, and appears on various programs, including NFL Total Access. Prior to joining the NFL Network, McGinest served similar roles at Fox Sports and ESPN.

Charity work[edit]

McGinest established the Willie McGinest Freedom School, a program which aims to provide social and cultural enrichment for neighborhood youth. On May 3, 2005, the city council of Long Beach declared that every year, May 3 will be recognized as Willie McGinest Day in recognition of his charitable efforts and civic involvement. During the 2004 holiday season, McGinest sponsored "Shop with a Jock," an event that gave 50 Boston-area children the opportunity to go on a $100 shopping spree with him and his teammates. He would go on to sponsor a similar event in the Cleveland area with Browns teammates.

Business and Entertainment Ventures[edit]

McGinest owns an entertainment company in Los Angeles called "55 Entertainment", and has had cameo appearances in television shows such as Arli$$ and The Game, and had a small role as a detective in the film I Tried, with rap group Bone Thugs N' Harmony.


External links[edit]