NAME: Willie Rodriguez
SCHOOL: Covington Catholic High School
GRADUATING YEAR: 2024
GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: Winning region as a freshman in wrestling
WEIGHT: 6'4"-235 lbs.
RESIDENCE: Taylor Mill, Ky.
PARENTS: Willie & Jody
BIGGEST INFLUENCE: "My parents."
FUTURE GOAL: Play in the NFL
Covington Catholic senior Willie Rodriguez is a two-sport all-star in football and wrestling.
He is one of the nation's top high school tight ends and a linebacker who had 30+ Div. I collegiate offers before committing to the University of Kentucky. CovCath went an undefeated 10-0 during the regular season and finished ranked #1 in Class 4A's statewide RPI. The Colonels beat Paducah Tilghman 22-14 in the state semifinals to clinch a berth in the Class 4A state championship game.
One of the memorable moments this season was a 31-24 win over Dixie Heights when, on a fourth-down play with 20 seconds left in the game, Willie caught a 23-yard touchdown pass to secure the win. He had three catches for 48 yards and two touchdowns in the game. He also caught six passes for 115 yards and three touchdowns in the big 35-28 win over Ashland Blazer in the second round of the state playoffs to move to 12-0 on the season. The Colonels then were Class 4A Regional champions, beating Johnson Central 31-0, and Willie had a touchdown reception in the game.
His junior year, Willie played tight end and outside linebacker in the first six games for CovCath before being sidelined by an injury. He caught 14 passes for 295 yards and five touchdowns while making 10 tackles, had two quarterback sacks and a fumble recovery on defense. He was named first-team all-Northern Kentucky (Enquirer),and first-team all-NKAC. CovCath went 9-3 last season and advanced to the second round of the postseason.
In wrestling, Willie enters his senior year with a record of 138-29 with 99 varsity pins. He holds the school record for all-time career wins (138) and all-time pins (99). He is a three-time state qualifier. He was the 2021 regional champion his freshman year at 182 lbs. and twice placed at state - in 2022, seventh place at 190 lbs. and in 2023, fifth place at 285 lbs. He also was regional runner-up last season.
A good student who is active in community service, Willie also played baseball for CovCath as a freshman and a sophomore. His favorite athlete and most-like-to-meet is George Kittle, favorite entertainer is Drake, favorite book is Unstoppable and favorite movie is Warrior.
COACH'S QUOTE – "Willie is just a dude! He approaches his preparation with an incredible focus that has allowed him to grow into a force on the field and on the mat. On top of that, he is one of the most respectful, good-natured kids I have ever coached!"
— Eddie Eviston, Varsity Head Coach