Published Aug. 16, 2013

49er Wilhoite makes homecoming in KC as one of three Ichabods on NFL rosters

Michael Wilhoite, right, tackles a Kansas City player, center, during the game Aug. 16.KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- San Francisco 49er and former Ichabod Michael Wilhoite made his professional homecoming Friday night as his team played Kansas City in Arrowhead Stadium. His is one of three former Icabods on NFL rosters this season.

Wilhoite started at inside linebacker for the 49ers and played in all but one first half series. He also started the second half and ended up with three tackles, fourth best on the team. The 49ers scored a late touchdown, the only offensive one of the game for either team, and won 15-13.

"More than anything, it was just fun to be out there with my teammates," Wilhoite said. "It seemed like every time I turned around, I heard someone calling my name."

Wilhoite had two tackles during Kansas City's second drive of the second quarter. He then broke up a pass inside the San Francisco 10-yard line late in the half and Kansas City had to settle for a field goal later in the series.

"I think I played pretty well," said Wilhoite, who got the start in place of the injured Patrick Willis. "One thing we always try to stand up to is the peers and play as good as the best out there."

The second-year NFL player out of Topeka and Highland Park High School played in every series of the first half except Kansas City's final possession.

"When I first went out there for warmups, it was like, man, I'm finally in Arrowhead," Wilhoite said in a post-game interview with Washburn Sports Information. "For me, it was just a good opportunity to get to play here. I probably waved at 10 people. A lot of these people can't make it out the California."

The current Washburn football team watched Wilhoite's performance together on campus Friday night. Wilhoite graduated from Washburn in December 2010 with a bachelor of arts in mass media.

Wilhoite joins Cary Williams (Philadelphia) and Brian Folkerts (Carolina) as former Ichabods on current NFL rosters as the league plays its second week of preseason games. Williams and Wilhoite played against each other in last year's Super Bowl with Williams and the Baltimore Ravens winning the championship.

"It's a testament to hard work," Wilhoite said. "Three guys out of Division II is still quite a few guys, especially out of Washburn. It shows the type of recruiting coach (Craig) Schurig does."

This story adapted from Washburn Athletics.