McGinest at the 2008 ESPN the Weekend event at Disney's Hollywood Studios
|Born:||December 11, 1971|
Long Beach, California
|Height:||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight:||270 lb (122 kg)|
|High school:||Long Beach (CA) Polytechnic|
|NFL Draft:||1994 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com|
William Lee McGinest Jr. (born December 11, 1971) is a former American football linebacker who played 15 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the New England Patriots fourth overall in the 1994 NFL Draft. He played college football at USC.
The second of four children, McGinest attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School, where he garnered all-state honors in football and basketball. 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.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.
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.
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 from his regular role. While he usually lined 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.
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. He 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, he stated that he would like to end his career with the Patriots. On August 5, 2015, he signed a one-day contract with the Patriots during his Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
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.
McGinest was featured on the NFL Network's documentary series A Football Life on October 5, 2018.
McGinest and teammates Michael Jones and Jason Oliver were charged with battery and false imprisonment when a female USC student accused them of sexual assault on October 15, 1990.The incident in question occurred on June 20 of the same year. The 23-year-old summer school counselor said she was dragged into a dormitory room, pinned to a bed and sexually molested. The players contend the woman entered the room voluntarily and was involved in "horseplay." Key witnesses told prosecutors that Valerie Paton, a USC assistant dean of student affairs, sent a memo to campus security that asked officers to pull the file on the incident so that it would not become public in an effort to save the players. USC Security Guard Morris DeMayo was abruptly fired with Valerie Paton for their roles in an alleged cover-up when the players were charged. On June 15, 1991 the three players including McGinest were acquitted of all sexual assault and false imprisonment charges.
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.
McGinest owns an entertainment company in Los Angeles called 55 Entertainment.
He 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. He appeared in the Disney XD show Lab Rats & Scorpion (U.S. TV series)as himself.
Ronald Mandel Lott is an American former professional football player who was a cornerback, free safety, and strong safety in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons during the 1980s and 1990s.
Tedy Lacap Bruschi is a former professional American football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for 13 seasons, who currently serves as the senior advisor to the head coach at University of Arizona. He played college football for the University of Arizona, and was a two-time consensus All-American. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft, and played his entire professional career with the Patriots. Bruschi won three Super Bowls and was a two-time All-Pro selection.
Andre Bernard Tippett is an American former professional football player who was an All-Pro linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for 11 seasons from 1982 to 1993, missing all of the 1989 season. He played college football for the Iowa Hawkeyes, where he was recognized as a consensus All-American in 1981. A second-round pick in the 1982 NFL Draft, Tippett played professionally for the New England Patriots for his entire pro career. Currently, he is the Patriots' executive director of community affairs. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Michael George Vrabel is an American football coach and former linebacker who is the head coach of the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Ohio State University, where he earned consensus All-American honors. He was chosen by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft, joined the New England Patriots as a free agent in 2001, where he became an All-Pro and a three-time Super Bowl champion, then finished his career with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Mosiula Mea'alofa "Lofa" Tatupu is a former American football linebacker who played six seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He was an assistant linebackers coach with the Seattle Seahawks. He played college football for the University of Southern California (USC). Tatupu was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
Keith A. Adams is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns. He also was a member of the Berlin Thunder in NFL Europe. He played college football at Clemson University.
Adalius Donquail Thomas is a former American football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for ten seasons. He played college football for the University of Southern Mississippi. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, and also played for the NFL's New England Patriots.
Patrick L. Willis is a former American football linebacker who played his entire eight-year career with the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the 49ers in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He played college football for the University of Mississippi and received consensus All-American honors.
David Charles Harris is a former American football linebacker of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Michigan. Harris was drafted by the New York Jets in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
Robert Michael Ninkovich is a former American football outside linebacker who played eleven seasons in National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Purdue as a defensive end and was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He also played for the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, winning two Super Bowls with the latter. After eight seasons with the Patriots, Ninkovich announced his retirement from the NFL following 2016.
The 2005 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 36th season in the National Football League, the 46th overall and the 6th under head coach Bill Belichick. Following a Week 6 loss to the Denver Broncos, the Patriots failed to either improve or match their 14-2 record from last season, finishing with a 10–6 record and the division title before losing in the playoffs to the Broncos, ending their hopes of becoming the first NFL team to three peat in the Super Bowl.
William Clay Matthews III is an American football outside linebacker who played 11 seasons in the National Football League. The six-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro played primarily with the Green Bay Packers.
Von B'Vsean Miller Jr. is an American football outside linebacker for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). Miller played college football at Texas A&M, where he earned consensus All-American honors and was awarded the Butkus Award as the most outstanding college linebacker in the nation. He was drafted by the Broncos second overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. Considered among the best defenders in the league, he is an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, receiving second-team All-Pro honors as a rookie. As of 2021, he has the most career sacks of any currently-active player. At the conclusion of the 2015 NFL season, Miller was named Super Bowl MVP after the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. He has also appeared on season 22 of the American television show Dancing with the Stars.
Nicholas Joel Perry is a former American football outside linebacker. He played college football at USC. Perry was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Melvin Ingram III is an American football defensive end for the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of South Carolina, and earned All-American honors. He was selected by the Chargers in the first round with the 18th overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Chandler James Jones is an American football outside linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). Jones was selected by the New England Patriots in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He played college football at Syracuse. He is the younger brother of former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and of former National Football League (NFL) player Arthur Jones.
Kyle Van Noy is an American football linebacker for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft after playing college football at Brigham Young University (BYU), where he was recognized as a third team All-American.
Trenton Allen Murphy is an American football defensive end who is a free agent. He played college football at Stanford, and was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Benardrick Cornelius McKinney is an American football inside linebacker for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Mississippi State. He was selected by the Houston Texans in the second round in the 2015 NFL draft.
Eric-Nathan M. Kendricks is an American football middle linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at UCLA. As a senior in 2014, he won the Butkus Award as the nation's top collegiate linebacker and received All-American honors. He was drafted by the Vikings in the second round, 45th overall of the 2015 NFL Draft.