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Jonathan Willard pulls family, dog from burning car

  • By Kevin Patra NFL.com
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On the road to training camp to fight for a roster spot, Tennessee Titans rookie linebacker Jonathan Willard tackled a car fire.

Traveling down Interstate 40 on Tuesday in Tennessee, Willard came upon a car on fire and helped pull a woman, her three children and their dog to safety, according to TigerNet.com.

Tennessee Titans linebacker Jonathan Willard helped rescue a family from this burning car on Tuesday, on his way to training camp. (Tennessee Highway Patrol)
Tennessee Titans linebacker Jonathan Willard helped rescue a family from this burning car on Tuesday, on his way to training camp. (Tennessee Highway Patrol)

"When she pulled over, the car was really on fire at that point," the former Clemson Tiger said. "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, and then I finally got the woman out."

Willard tweeted out pictures of the blaze and said he was surprised more drivers weren't stopping to aid the woman.

"I was just glad that we got the kids and all of them out of the car," he said. "I was thinking that I was just doing what everybody else would do, but there were cars just going past us and no one else was stopping, so I don't know if that is what would happen or not."

Willard went undrafted and signed with the Titans after a productive senior season at Clemson, leading the Tigers with 95 tackles and compiling three sacks.

He now can add gallantry to that resume.

UPDATE: Willard made it to Titans camp, where he was hailed as a hero.

"It speaks very highly of him that he could be riding down the street and see something like that and be able to put his life on the line to save another family," Titans cornerback Jason McCourty told The Tennessean.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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