Wilson: "I Have Something to Prove"
"I can't lie about it - it was tough," Wilson said of the feelings that he experienced as he watched eleven other running backs get called before he was finally selected with the 219th pick in round seven by the Atlanta Falcons. "I said I was going to go into the draft with an open mind, and just go with whatever happened, but as it went on, I started wondering 'What's going on here?'" Wilson wasn't alone, of course. His powerful build, strong running style and solid workouts seemed to make him a solid bet to be picked no later than the fifth round, but as often happens in football, things just didn't play out as expected. Wilson had two parties over the weekend. The first was a pre-draft bash on Friday, and was attended by former WVU coaches Don Nehlen and Don Poluszek, as well as current Mountaineer staffers Calvin Magee and Steve Bird. The cookout today wasn't quite as big, but Wilson did expect to have his pick to celebrate a bit earlier in the day. While he didn't expect to get selected on Saturday, he noted that today's final rounds got a bit tough to take. However, all that changed when the Falcons called to tell him that they needed a runner. "They actually called me in the sixth round and told me they wanted a back, but then they took a safety, so I wasn't sure what that meant," the strong runner dubbed "Weirton Steel" noted. "I got a couple of calls from some other teams, but then Atlanta called me back about five minutes before their pick and said they wanted to take me. "As soon as they did that, all the frustration went right out the window," and obviously happy Wilson related. "Everyone was jumping up and down, and we were all very excited. "I have about twenty people over for a barbecue, and the house got so crowded, and there was so much going on, I had to step outside and get some air." Wilson also believes his special teams prowess helped him get selected. Several scouting reports noted his willingness to play on special teams even as a senior. "I don't think there's any doubt it helped," Wilson observed. "I can play on all four special teams. I can make tackles and block, and teams know they can get double duty out of me." The life of a football player is a cycle that repeats itself from the first time a player steps on the field. Start at the bottom, as a newcomer, a fresman or a rookie, and work yourself up. Wilson knows that he is back at the bottom of the heap, but doesn't plan to stay there. "I'm going to be going in with a bit of a chip on my shoulder," the confident West Virginian said. "I have something to prove, especially with all those other guys who were taken in front of me." Wilson will get his first chance to prove his worth soon, as the Falcons have a three day minicamp scheduled for next weekend. "I'll leave Thursday and get there for the mini-camp, which is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I'm anxious to get down there and show them I can play.