Willis has played for every West Division team during his career. His first year was spent with the Calgary Stampeders before he was traded to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers halfway through the 2009 season.
In 2011 he was a CFL All-Star. That year he recorded 13 sacks and led a Winnipeg D that made the Grey Cup. Following that year he appeared for one season in Saskatchewan before heading to the Edmonton Eskimos for the most successful stretch of his career.
Willis spent 5 seasons in Edmonton between 2011 and 2017. He was a standout performer on defense for the Esks. Appearing in 86 regular season games in Edmonton Willis notched 131 defensive stops, 10 forced fumbles, 12 tackles for a loss and 46 sacks.
In 2014 he was again named a CFL All-Star. That year he recorded 32 tackles and a team-leading 13 sacks. He was also an integral part of Edmonton’s 2015 Grey Cup win.
A Roaring Lion
Odell Willis was signed by BC in February 2018. During that season he notched 22 defensive tackles and a team high 11 sacks through 18 games.
The wait for the 100th sack has been a long one as Willis recorded his 99th career sack back in July against Toronto.
For Willis this was obviously a notable achievement. In the post game press interviews he noted “That’s years and years of hard work…My whole career flashed in front of me in those 3 seconds, but it was all worth it”.
Players who have recorded 100+ sacks in the CFL:
- Grover Covington – 157 sacks (168 games played)
- Elfrid Payton – 153 sacks (205 games played)
- Bobby Jurasin – 140 sacks (199 games played)
- James Parker – 139.5 sacks (161 games played)
- Joe Montford – 135 sacks (185 games played)
- Vince Goldsmith – 130.5 sacks in (163 games played)
- Steward Hill – 126 sacks (164 games played)
- John Bowman – 131 sacks (226 games played)
- Tyrone Jones – 110 sacks (151 games played)
- Rodney Harding – 105 sacks (201 games played)
- Charleston Hughes – 127 sacks (175 games played)
- Odell Willis – 100 Sacks (186 games played)
Of the players shown above the ones with a link to their career stats are still active. With 587 career games and 358 sacks between them you wouldn’t bet against these numbers being added to.
Banner image: Willis turning out for the BC Lions. Image from cfl.ca