Former Bradwell Institute football player Will Pettis was named one of the top 25 wide receivers in the Arena Football League, according to an AFL press release.
According to the release, the AFL is celebrating its 25th anniversary this season, and the silver anniversary committee voted on a number of “Top 25” lists. The committee voted on categories ranging from the best uniforms to the 25 greatest players in AFL history.
The latest top-25 list ranks the 25 greatest receivers in AFL history. The committee, which consists of long-time league executives, coaches, media members and former players, weighed in on which receivers best displayed excellence on the field, showcased the highest level of talent and meant the most to their teams.
The results are being unveiled in three segments, beginning with the announcement of receivers 16-25. Pettis was No. 21.
Pettis made his arena football debut with the Pensacola Barracudas in 2002. The following year, he moved to the AFL and spent all seven years of his career in Dallas. He was named to the all-rookie team in 2003 and was selected second-ream all-Arena three consecutive seasons from 2003-05. By 2006, Pettis owned every major receiving record in Desperados franchise history, but his best statistical season came in 2007 when he totaled 128 catches for 1,441 yards and 39 touchdowns. Pettis was named ironman of the year in 2007 and 2008, starring for the team as both a receiver and defensive back.
During his career with the Desperados, Pettis accumulated 639 receptions for 6,516 yards and scored 142 touchdowns. Pettis also had 187 solo tackles, 23 assists and 21 interceptions. As a punt returner, he returned 378 kicks for 7,335 yards and 15 touchdowns.
He was named to the all-iron man team four times in his career and the all-Arena team three times.
Pettis also volunteered his time to several youth organizations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including the Salvation Army and the Boys and Girls Club. During the offseason, Pettis mentored at-risk youth about football and his belief in Christian values and the importance of staying drug free.
When the AFL reorganized in 2010, Pettis returned to indoor football as a member of the Dallas Vigilantes’ coaching staff.
Pettis was inducted into the Liberty County Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.