If the coaches of the Tennessee Titans weren't real familiar with former Clemson linebacker Jonathan Willard before yesterday, they certainly know who he is now.
Willard—who was signed by the Titans in April after going undrafted in the 2013 NFL Draft—was driving on Interstate 40 in Tennessee on Tuesday afternoon on his way to Titans' training camp when he noticed a car on fire in front of him. So he did what anyone in his situation would do: He drove up next to the car and tried to get it to pull over. However, the woman driving the car, her kids, and the family's dog didn't notice Willard right away. So he continued to honk his horn and do everything he could to get them to pull over. And finally, they did.
By the time they pulled over, though, the car was up in flames. So Willard and another driver who also pulled over to help had to spring into action immediately. They jumped into the car and were able to save the woman, the three kids, and the dog before the flames engulfed the car.
"When she pulled over, the car was really on fire at that point," Willard said later. "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. I was just glad that we got the kids and all of them out of the car. I was thinking that I was just doing what everybody else would do…[The woman] just kept thanking me. That car was just gone. It went up quick."
What a heroic action. Even though we're sure Willard had a ton on his mind as he made the trip to training camp, he was still able to help save an entire family thanks to his quick thinking. He definitely didn't do it for any personal gain. But we hope that his Titans coaches keep his bravery in mind when it's time to make the first round of cuts at training camp. After what he did yesterday, he deserves a shot to make an NFL team.
RELATED: 20 NFL Players and Their Cars
RELATED: Gallery: 20 NFL Fan Rides
[via USA Today]