Tig to the rescue! Former Clemson LB saves family from burning car

Jonathan "Tig" Willard helped rescue a family of four and a dog from a burning car on a Tennessee highway. The Loris native and former Clemson linebacker was on his way to Tennessee Titans training camp when he showed heroism on I-40 in Tennessee.

Willard was six hours on the road on his way to Nashville when he noticed a car in front of him that had smoke. He sped up and began to get the attention of the driver by flashing his lights and eventually getting beside her and honking his horn.

When she pulled over, Willard and another driver from a different vehicle was able to rescue a woman, three children and a dog as the car became fully engulfed in flames. Willard and the other good samaratin pulled the three kids and dogs out of the back seat. The woman driving the car was stunned, according to Willard.

Once the children were safe, Willard helped grab items including the woman's purse and some car seats. There were a total of four explosions of the car which became totally engulfed in flames.

"There was probably like two and a half minutes maybe three minutes that we got everybody out of the car when the car exploded", Willard told WPDE Sports in a phone interview. "Football is good for me - I love doing it, but I know that there's more to life than just football. Today helped me see that aspect more."

Tig was a fixture on the Clemson defense from 2009-2012. He led the Tigers 95 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks in his snior season. Willard was an undrafted free agent and is set to report to Titans training camp on Wednesday. He was a 2007 WPDE All-Zone selection. For more details and quotes from Willard about the rescue, read the story as first reported on

Here's our ABC affiliate in Nashville with their coverage: CLICK HERE

Here's the Tennessee Titans story on Tig which includes his press conference on the first day of camp: CLICK HERE