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Drew Willy
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Willy with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2016
Personal information
Date of birth: (1986-11-13) November 13, 1986 (age 33)
Place of birth: Randolph, New Jersey
Career information
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
Roster status: Free agent
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
Pass attempts     1,243
Pass completions     833
TD–INT     43–32
Passing yards     9,652
Passer rating     91.1

Drew Willy (born November 13, 1986) is an American professional Canadian football quarterback who is currently a free agent. He was signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2009. He played college football at Buffalo. Willy has also been a member of the Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Locomotives, New York Jets, San Diego Chargers, and most notably the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Toronto Argonauts, and Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL).

Early yearsEdit

Willy attended Randolph High School in Randolph, New Jersey, prior to choosing the University at Buffalo.[1] At Randolph High, Willy set school records for career passing yards (5,387) and touchdowns (51).

College careerEdit

Drew Willy

Willy during his tenure at Buffalo

At the University at Buffalo, Willy started each of his four seasons, including eight games as a true freshman.[2] In 2008, he took Buffalo to their first MAC Championship Game, where they upset heavily favored and previously undefeated Ball State Cardinals led by Nate Davis. Prior to the 2009 NFL Draft, he was invited to the 2009 NFL Combine and was considered a potential late-round draft choice.[3]

Willy was the most prolific passer in Buffalo football history. As a four-year starter, he set school records for completions (849), attempts (1,322), passing yards (8,748), touchdowns (52), total offense (8,639), and completion percentage (64.2). During the final 20 games of his college career, Willy threw 36 touchdown passes and only six interceptions.

Professional careerEdit

Baltimore RavensEdit

Willy signed with the Baltimore Ravens after going undrafted in the 2009 NFL Draft on April 27, 2009.[4] He was waived on June 18, 2009. He was re-signed on August 15 after a shoulder injury to quarterback John Beck,[5] with the team placing defensive tackle Lamar Divens on injured reserve to make room for Willy on the roster only to be waived again on August 31.

Indianapolis ColtsEdit

Willy was signed to the Indianapolis Colts practice squad on December 9, 2009.[6] He was promoted to the active roster on December 26, 2009. He was waived on December 29 and re-signed to the practice squad. He was signed to a futures contract on February 11, 2010. He was released by the Colts in July 2010.

Las Vegas LocomotivesEdit

Willy signed with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League in August 2010.

He made his UFL debut on October 23 in the place of injured Locos starting QB, Tim Rattay. He completed 18 of 29 passes that day for 191 yards and a touchdown.[7] The Locos won the game against the Hartford Colonials, 24-21.

New York JetsEdit

Willy was signed to a reserve/future contract with the New York Jets on January 7, 2011.[8][9]

San Diego ChargersEdit

The San Diego Chargers signed Willy to their practice squad on September 5, 2011.

Saskatchewan RoughridersEdit

On February 28, 2012, it was announced that Willy had signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.[10] Willy made his first CFL start on September 16, 2012, in Montreal against the Montreal Alouettes. He completed 22-of-35 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions in a losing effort.[11] Willy earned his first CFL win as a starter on July 27, 2013, against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats where he completed 14 of 25 pass attempts for 269 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions in relief of the injured Darian Durant.[12] In two seasons with the Roughriders, Willy was utilized in a backup role. He dressed in all 36 games over his two years with the team, and started four, passing for 1,182 yards with nine touchdowns and five interceptions. Willy was also a part of the 101st Grey Cup champion team in 2013.

Winnipeg Blue BombersEdit

File:Winnipeg Blue Bombers Preseason June 13 vs OTT (27130062663) (cropped).jpg

On February 6, 2014, Willy was traded to the Blue Bombers for non-import wide receiver Jade Etienne.[13] In his first year as a starter Willy lead the Bombers to a record of 7 wins and 11 losses. He played in 17 of the 18 regular season games. In the spring of 2015 Willy and the Blue bombers agreed to a contract extension through the 2017 season. In week 7 of the 2015 CFL season Willy left the game with a right knee injury: Two days later it was announced that Willy suffered a tibial plateau fracture and partial tear of the posterior cruciate ligament. He was expected to miss 6 to 8 weeks, possibly longer.[14]

Toronto ArgonautsEdit

On September 11, 2016, Willy was traded to the Toronto Argonauts in exchange for defensive back T.J. Heath, a 1st Round Pick in 2017, and a 3rd Round Pick in 2018.[15] Willy made his first appearance in Week 14, and his first start the following week. Following his start for the Argos, Willy was announced as the starting quarterback for the remaining 4 games of the season.[16] However, after making three starts Willy was once again relegated to the backup role and incumbent Ricky Ray took over the starting role in Week 18.[17] On January 2, 2017, Drew Willy and the Argos agreed to a contract restructuring which extended his contract through the 2018 season. Willy was reportedly scheduled to receive a $100,000 bonus later on January 15.[18] Were Willy to start every game in 2017, he would have earned just over $305,000 and more than $415,000 in 2018.[19] However, Willy was cut by the Argos on June 17, 2017.[20]

Montreal AlouettesEdit

On June 26, 2017, the Montreal Alouettes announced that they had signed Willy to a one-year contract.[21] Willy appeared in 12 games for the Alouettes in 2017, completing 54 of 79 pass attempts for 547 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Willy was re-signed by the Alouettes on the second day of free agency.[22] At the start of training camp Willy and Matt Shiltz were the leading candidates to be the Als' starting quarterback to begin the 2018 season.[23] Willy started the first three games of the season before suffering a concussion in the third quarter in the team's Week 3 victory over the Roughriders.[24] Willy would miss the following game against the Redblacks, (played by Jeff Mathews) but returned to play against the Stampeders in Week 6: However, Willy left the game with a hand injury, and did not return.[25][26] Following Montreal's 2018 season, which saw the team trade for Johnny Manziel, and sign backup quarterbacks Matthews, Antonio Pipkin and Vernon Adams to extensions,[27] Willy was released in December.[28]

In August 2019 the Blue Bombers reached out to Willy following an injury to starting quarterback Matt Nichols, however Willy and the Bombers we unable to come to an agreement and he remained a free-agent.[29]

CFL statisticsEdit

  Passing   Rushing
Year Team Games Started Att Comp Pct Yards TD Int Rating Att Yards Avg Long TD Fumb
2012 SSK 18 2 95 69 72.6 709 5 4 93.7 33 115 3.5 18 4 1
2013 SSK 18 2 52 32 61.5 473 4 1 108.9 18 22 1.2 3 0 1
2014 WPG 17 17 478 305 63.8 3,769 14 16 83.9 36 224 6.2 18 2 5
2015 WPG 7 7 156 107 68.6 1,434 8 3 106.6 19 161 8.5 30 0 1
2016 WPG 11 5 137 191 71.7 1,473 5 4 92.2 13 84 6.5 20 0 2
2016 TOR 5 4 77 113 68.1 681 3 1 9 91 10.1 34 0 2
2017 MTL 12 2 54 79 68.4 547 1 2 81.6 17 66 3.9 12 1 0
2018 MTL 4 4 77 113 65.8 566 3 1 94.1 6 22 3.7 8 0 1
CFL totals 92 43 833 1,243 67.0 9652 43 32 91.1 151 785 5.2 34 7 13

ReferencesEdit

  1. McKissic, Rodney. "Willy bowls over UB coaches", The Buffalo News, August 2, 2008. Accessed July 27, 2009. "Willy had worked under a different offensive coordinator and offensive system for four straight seasons, dating from his senior season at Randolph High School in New Jersey, and said he is thrilled because he spent a second straight off-season studying under Gill and quarterbacks coach Danny Barrett."
  2. Drew Willy Script error at UB Athletics
  3. Drew Willy at NFL Draft Scout
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-06-19. https://web.archive.org/web/20100619064711/http://spectrum.buffalo.edu/article.php?id=40337. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
  5. Florio, Mike (August 15, 2009). "Cleo gets a chance in Baltimore". Pro Football Talk. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2009/08/15/cleo-gets-a-chance-in-baltimore/. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  6. http://www.indystar.com/article/20091209/SPORTS03/912090387/1100/Colts-put-Sorgi-on-IR-sign-tackle
  7. Locos 24, Colonials 21 Game summary Script error
  8. "Jets sign Drew Willy, T.J. Conley". Yahoo! Sports. January 7, 2011. Archived from the original on January 7, 2011. https://www.webcitation.org/5vZL0UUyV?url=http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=nfp-20110107_jets_sign_drew_willy_tj_conley. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
  9. Mehta, Manish (September 3, 2011). "Jets name Willy starter for week 1; make two trades". New York Daily News (Mortimer Zuckerman). Archived from the original on September 13, 2011. https://www.webcitation.org/61fxP8a5i?url=http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/jets/2011/09/jets-trim-roster-to-53-make-two-trades. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  10. "Riders sign QBs Brennan and Willy". https://www.cfl.ca/article/riders-sign-qbs-brennan-and-willy.
  11. http://cfl.ca/article/rookie-pivot-holds-his-own-in-durants-absence
  12. http://cfl.ca/article/riders-ticats-week5-recap
  13. "Getting their man: Bombers acquire QB Willy from Riders". http://cfl.ca/article/getting-their-man-bombers-acquire-qb-willy-from-riders.
  14. "Drew Willy, Blue Bombers QB, out 6-8 weeks with right knee injury". http://www.cbc.ca/sports/football/cfl/drew-willy-blue-bombers-qb-out-6-8-weeks-with-right-knee-injury-1.3186947. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  15. "Blue Bombers ship Willy to Argos; acquire Glenn in trade with Als". 2016-09-11. https://www.cfl.ca/2016/09/11/bombers-trade-willy-to-toronto-acquire-glenn/.
  16. "Willy the Argos' starter for rest of season". 2016-10-03. https://www.tsn.ca/willy-the-argos-starter-for-rest-of-season-1.578819.
  17. "Can Ricky Ray rescue the Toronto Argonauts’ season? | Toronto Star". https://www.thestar.com/sports/argos/2016/10/17/can-ricky-ray-rescue-the-toronto-argonauts-season.html.
  18. "Argos restucture QB Drew Willy's contract". CBC Sports. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/football/cfl/argos-restructure-contract-willy-1.3918596.
  19. Sportsnet, Justin DunkJustin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph He covers the league for; 3DownNation. (2017-01-02). "Drew Willy, Argos agree to terms on new contract". http://3downnation.com/2017/01/02/drew-willy-argos-agree-terms-new-contract/.
  20. "Argos release quarterback Drew Willy". 2017-06-17. https://www.cfl.ca/2017/06/17/argos-release-quarterback-drew-willy/.
  21. "Alouettes sign QB Drew Willy". CFL.ca (Canadian Football League). 26 June 2017. https://www.cfl.ca/2017/06/26/alouettes-sign-qb-drew-willy/. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  22. "Alouettes re-sign QB Drew Willy - CFL.ca" (in en-US). CFL.ca. 2018-02-14. https://www.cfl.ca/2018/02/14/alouettes-re-sign-qb-drew-willy/.
  23. "Willy, Shiltz lead battle for Als starting QB job - Article - TSN". TSN. 2018-05-22. https://www.tsn.ca/willy-shiltz-lead-battle-for-als-starting-qb-job-1.1092061.
  24. "Injury sidelines Willy during Als' win over Riders - CFL.ca" (in en-US). CFL.ca. 2018-06-30. https://www.cfl.ca/2018/06/30/willy-leaves-game-roughriders/.
  25. "Alouettes hand keys to plodding offence back to QB Drew Willy" (in en-US). Montreal Gazette. 2018-07-19. https://montrealgazette.com/sports/football/cfl/montreal-alouettes/alouettes-hand-keys-to-plodding-offence-back-to-qb-drew-willy.
  26. "Montreal QB Drew Willy leaves game against Calgary with hand injury" (in en-US). National Post. 2018-07-22. https://nationalpost.com/pmn/sports-pmn/football-sports-pmn/cfl-football-sports-pmn/montreal-qb-drew-willy-leaves-game-against-calgary-with-apparent-injury.
  27. "Als extend Pipkin, Mathews and Adams Jr.". 28 October 2018. https://www.cfl.ca/2018/10/28/als-extend-pipkin-mathews-adams-jr/.
  28. "Alouettes release quarterback Drew Willy – 3DownNation". https://3downnation.com/2018/12/28/alouettes-release-quarterback-drew-willy/.
  29. Staff, 3Down. "Bombers talked to QB Drew Willy about a return, but it didn’t work out | 3DownNation" (in en-US). https://3downnation.com/2019/08/28/bombers-talked-to-qb-drew-willy-about-a-return-but-it-didnt-work-out/.

External linksEdit

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