American Football Database
Odell Willis
No. 11     BC Lions
Willis before a Lions game in 2019.
Date of birth: (1984-12-28) December 28, 1984 (age 36)
Place of birth: Meridian, Mississippi
Career information
Status: Active
CFL status: Import
Position(s): DE
NFL Draft: 2008 / Undrafted
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star: 2011, 2014
CFL East All-Star: 2011
CFL West All-Star: 2014
Career stats
Tackles     240
Sacks     97
Forced fumbles     22

Playing stats at

Odell Willis (born December 28, 1984) is a professional Canadian football defensive end for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was signed by the Spokane Shock as a free agent in 2007. He played college football for the West Georgia Wolves. Willis has also played for the Huntington Heroes, Peoria Pirates, Green Bay Blizzard, Calgary Stampeders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Saskatchewan Roughriders and Edmonton Eskimos.

College career

Willis played four seasons for the University of West Georgia and totaled 126 tackles, 20.5 sacks and six forced fumbles for the Wolves. He was twice named an All-Gulf South Conference selection.

Professional career

af2 and AIFA

Willis was assigned to the Spokane Shock of the af2 on July 19, 2007.[1] He signed with the Huntington Heroes of the American Indoor Football Association in January 2008 and played for the team during the 2008 season.[2][3] He played for the Peoria Pirates of the af2 later in 2008. In July 2008, he was traded to the Green Bay Blizzard.[4]

Calgary Stampeders

In 2009, Willis signed with the Calgary Stampeders where he recorded six sacks in his first nine games.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

He was then traded to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a package trade,[5] where he recorded another four sacks with the Blue Bombers. In his 2010 campaign, Willis started all 18 games and recorded 11 sacks. During the 2011 CFL season, Willis started all 18 games for the second consecutive year and set a new career high with 13 sacks. His performance earned him his first CFL East Division All-Star nod and recognition on his first CFL All-Star team a short while later.[6][7]

File:Odell Willis on 23 September 2012.jpg

Willis rushing the QB in 2012.

Saskatchewan Roughriders

On March 22, 2012, Willis was traded to the Saskatchewan Roughriders for second and fourth round picks in the 2012 CFL Draft.[8] Willis recorded 6 sacks in the 2012 CFL season.

Edmonton Eskimos

After not being re-signed following one season with the Roughriders, Willis signed a three-year contract with the Edmonton Eskimos on February 15, 2013 (The first day of CFL free-agency). In his first season with the Eskimos Willis played in 13 of the 18 regular season games. He would finish the season with 22 tackles, 9 quarterback sacks and 1 fumble recovery. Willis' play improved again the following season, earning himself his second CFL All-Star award and his first CFL West All-Star award. His 13 sacks put him tied for 2nd place for most sacks on the season; he also had 32 tackles, 2 interceptions (one for a touchdown) and a fumble recovery. Following the 2014 CFL season, Willis re-signed with the Eskimos.[9]

Ottawa Redblacks

On February 2, 2018, Willis was traded to the Ottawa Redblacks for fellow defensive lineman, Jake Ceresna. His tenure with the Redblacks lasted 17 minutes.[10]

BC Lions

Shortly after he was traded to the Redblacks, Willis was again traded on February 2, 2018 back to the West Division to the BC Lions for a fourth-round pick in the 2018 CFL Draft and a negotiation list player.[11] Willis continued to perform as a pass rushing threat, recording 11 sacks over the season, a personal best since the 2014 season. Following the season Willis re-signed with the Lions for the 2019 CFL season.[12]


  1. "DL Willis joins Shock". July 19, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  2. "HUNTINGTON HEROES SIGN FIVE MORE". January 23, 2008. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  3. Walsh, David (April 18, 2008). "Heroes seek first win over Canton". Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  4. Eminian, Dave (July 11, 2008). "Pirates complete Blitz trade". Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  5. "Bombers swing another deal" (in en-ca). September 21, 2009.
  6. Adam Wazny (November 10, 2011). "Eight Bombers named to East Division All-Star Team". Winnipeg Free Press.
  7. Paul Wiecek (November 16, 2011). "Five Bombers chosen as CFL all-stars". Winnipeg Free Press.
  8. Riders Acquire All-Star Odell Willis From Winnipeg
  9. "Veteran DE Willis re-signs with Eskimos". The Canadian Press.
  10. "Recapping a frantic Friday in the CFL offseason". CFL. 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  11. "Lions acquire Willis after trade from Esks to Redblacks". CFL. 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  12. "Willis returning to Lions next season -". TSN. 2018-11-28.

External links

Template:103rd Grey Cup