Will Pettis

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Will Pettis
No. 3
Position: Wide Receiver / Defensive Back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1977-12-11) December 11, 1977 (age 39)
Place of birth: Hinesville, Georgia
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school: Hinesville (GA) Bradwell Institute
College: Midwestern State
Undrafted: 2001
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career Arena statistics
Receptions: 572
Yards: 6,567
Touchdowns: 143
Tackles: 246
Interceptions: 22
Player stats at ArenaFan.com

Will Pettis (born December 11, 1977) is a former arena football Wide Receiver / Defensive Back in the Arena Football League.

Pettis is a four-time member of the AFL's All-Ironman team, a three-time member of the All-Arena team and was the 2007 Ironman of the Year.

Early life and college career[edit]

Pettis and attended the Bradwell Institute in Hinesville to finish his prep career. He then attended Middle Georgia Junior College. He was named to the GJCAA Region 17 All-District team after totaling 54 tackles for Middle Georgia. He also broke up three passes for a Middle Georgia defense that established a NJCAA record for fewest yards surrendered in a season. He was a starting cornerback for the Houston Cougars as a junior. Pettis transferred to Midwestern State University and finished his senior season with 42 tackles and three interceptions. He also finished second in the Lone Star Conference with a team-leading 14.6 yard punt return average, 146 yards on 10 returns.

Professional career[edit]

In 2001, Pettis was out of football. In 2002, he joined the Pensacola Barracudas of af2 and finished the year second on the team with 55 receptions for 791 yards and 14 touchdowns. On defense, he led the team with nine interceptions for 47 yards, 34 pass breakups and eight missed field goal returns for 168 yards and a touchdown. He was third on the team with 36.5 tackles, including two for losses.

In 2003, Pettis made his Arena Football League debut with the Dallas Desperados and had one of the league’s best seasons by a rookie, earning All-Rookie and Second-Team All-Arena honors. He finished the season with a rookie club-record 1,562 all-purpose yards, 798 receiving, 640 on kickoff returns, 93 on missed field goal returns, 22 on interception returns and nine rushing, while finishing fourth on the team with 34.5 tackles.

At the end of the 2003 AFL season, the Dallas Cowboys signed him, but the NFL rules that applied to teams that owned AFL franchises, forced them to keep Dallas Desperados players on the waiver wire for 10 calendar days, giving other NFL teams an opportunity to claim their rights and discourage the set up of alternative farm systems. The New Orleans Saints claimed Pettis on the last possible day, but he was released midway through their training camp.[1]

In 2004, Pettis finished the season second on the team in receptions with 95, third in receiving yards with 1,076 and touchdowns with 20.

In 2005, Pettis ended the season with several milestones. In addition to being named to the All-Ironman Team and All-Arena Team for the third time, he moved into second place in franchise history in touchdown catches (50), career receptions (253) and receiving yards (2,860). On defense, he set a personal best with 47.5 tackles and five interceptions. He recorded five games with over 200 all-purpose yards, giving him 12 for his career. He also moved into second place in franchise record books with 426 career points and 70 career touchdowns. After the season, he went to training camp with the Atlanta Falcons, but was released on the final cut-down date.

In 2006, Pettis was named to the All-Arena team for the third time in his career after he recorded 1,256 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns on 93 receptions. His totals for the season helped him to become the all-time leader in all franchise receiving categories and to surpass 9,000 career all-purpose yards. He added 40 tackles, 13 passes defensed and six interceptions, bringing his career total to 15, good for second in team history, on defense.

In 2007, Pettis earned Ironman of the Year honors,[2] as well as earning his fourth-straight All-Ironman selection as he was named Ironman of the Game 15 times and was named Ironman of the Month for March and June. He ranked second in all-purpose yards (2,781), tied for second in kickoff returns for a touchdown (four), sixth in catches (130), eighth in kickoff return average (21.2) and 10th in receiving yards (1,471).

In 2008, Pettis recorded 95 receptions for 1,048 yards and 25 touchdowns. On defense, he recorded 21 tackloes, two interceptions and one touchown.

In 2009, Pettis signed with the Texas Hurricanes, of the Southern Indoor Football League,making his debut on July 5, and on June 2, 2010 Pettis returned to Dallas, signing with the Dallas Vigilantes.

Career statistics[edit]

Career Statistics Receiving
Year Team G Rec Yards Y/R TD
2003 Dallas Desperados 11 70 800 11.4 17
2004 Dallas Desperados 14 86 972 11.0 20
2005 Dallas Desperados 14 94 1,009 10.7 15
2006 Dallas Desperados 17 93 1,256 13.5 26
2007 Dallas Desperados 17 128 1,441 11.3 39
2008 Dallas Desperados 14 95 1,048 11.0 25
2010 Dallas Vigilantes 2 6 41 6.8 0
Total 79 572 6,567 10.2 143
Career Defensive Statistics
Year Team G Tack Solo Ast Sack FF FR Int Yds TD Pass Def.
2003 Dallas Desperados 11 34 33 1 0 0 0 3 22 0 4
2004 Dallas Desperados 14 32 27 5 0 0 0 1 20 0 8
2005 Dallas Desperados 14 43 39 4 0 0 2 5 64 0 6
2006 Dallas Desperados 17 37 31 6 0 1 0 6 59 0 7
2007 Dallas Desperados 17 56 49 7 0 1 1 3 1 0 0
2008 Dallas Desperados 14 21 10 1 0 0 0 2 71 1 1
Total 77 223 187 23 0 2 3 21 237 1 0
Career Statistics Return Statistics
Year Team G Ret Yards Y/R TD
2003 Dallas Desperados 11 37 750 20.3 0
2004 Dallas Desperados 14 94 1,871 19.9 4
2005 Dallas Desperados 14 83 1,657 20.0 7
2006 Dallas Desperados 17 67 1,153 17.2 0
2007 Dallas Desperados 17 57 1,251 22.0 4
2008 Dallas Desperados 14 49 820 16.7 0
Total 77 378 7,335 19.4 15

Personal[edit]

Pettis lives with his wife, Akiah, and their children, Heaven Leigh, Gabriella, and William. Since the suspension of the Arena Football League's 2009 season, he opened a personal training business and began to help mentor young athletes. He also started a career in the tele-media industry.[3]

Charitable work[edit]

Since starting his career in Dallas, Pettis has become a visible face in the Dallas-Fort Worth community. He is an annual supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas through the Desperados Impact Player Program. Several times a season, Pettis can be found playing basketball, video games or pool with at-risk youth served by the clubs across the Metroplex. Pettis has twice served as a celebrity guest coach at the Dallas Cowboys Let Us Play! Sports Camp for Girls - a three-day sports camp for inner-city girls served by charitable organizations like The Salvation Army, West Dallas Community Centers and Girls, Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas. During the holiday season, Pettis participates in The Salvation Army Angel Tree program, where he adopts ‘angels’ which represent underprivileged children and purchases gifts for them during the holidays. Pettis signed autographs at the American Cancer Society’s Smoke Out event.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=1998409
  2. ^ Phillips, Rob (February 6, 2008). "Still A Triple Threat". DallasDesperados.com. 
  3. ^ Leon, Patty (July 13, 2009). "Pettis exploring life after the AFL". CoastalCourier.com. Coastal Courier. Retrieved July 14, 2009. 

External links[edit]