Kansas football legend Willie Pless had an outstanding career as a Jayhawk and in Canada as a pro.
Linebacker Willie Pless is easily one of the greatest ever when it comes to Kansas football. Coming from Alabama and standing at just five-foot-ten, Pless started three seasons for the Jayhawks from 1983-1985. Pless totaled an incredible 633 tackles in his career at Kansas, which is a school record. The next closest to Pless is Nick Reid with 416 tackles.
Pless is also tied for the single-game tackle record when he racked up a whopping 25 in a loss against Oklahoma State in 1984. He would end up being named to an All-Big 8 team in each of his three starting seasons.
Current Kansas football offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon recently took a look at Pless today, and acknowledged his excellence via Twitter:
Learned some new @KU_Football trivia today.
One of the best players in KU history:
LB – Willie Pless (82-85)
💥 Alabama Native 💥
1241 Career @CFL tackles
Played 14 Years, 11x All Star
5x Defensive Player of the Year
In the Kansas Football Hall of Fame and CFL#Bama2Kansas pic.twitter.com/41N51f0vsz
— Brent Dearmon (@BrentDearmon) June 28, 2020
After a phenomenal career with Kansas football, Pless enjoyed great success in the Canadian Football League. He played in the League from 1986-2000, and he also totaled 11 all-star appearances as well as five Most Outstanding Defensive Player awards.
Pless’ career was highlighted by a Grey Cup victory in 1993 with the Edmonton Eskimos. Pless would end up getting a number of team records with the Eskimos, including most tackles and most tackles for loss.
Since his professional career has come to a close, Pless has earned a number of honors including being inducted into the Edmonton Eskimos Wall of Honour, Canadian Football Hall of Fame, Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, and the Kansas football Ring of Honor. He’s truly one of the most successful Jayhawks of all time, both in college and in the pros.