2011 Hokie Football Annual: Rambunctious Wilson on Track to be Next Great Hokie Back

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When he was seven months old, before he could even walk, David Wilson somehow
pulled himself over the rail of his crib and plopped onto the floor. When he was
a toddler, he used to ride his Big Wheel so hard he’d tip over. He was doing
flips at two years old.

At first his rambunctious behavior worried his mother, Shelia, who constantly
tried to calm him down. “We’d be at the playground and he’d fall off the
monkey bars and hit his head,” Shelia says. “The other moms would be like,
‘Oh my God – is he OK?’ I came to realize, that was just the way he played.
He was just rough and carefree. Unless he cried or I saw he was hurt, I knew
banging off the monkey bars was part of his regular routine.”

The departure of Ryan Williams and Darren Evans leaves Wilson as the Hokies’
only back to have more than 122 rushing attempts in his career. A junior from
Danville, Va., Wilson has averaged 5.5 yards per carry in two Tech seasons. If
he stays healthy this year, 1,000 yards rushing seems like a given. With his
speed, he could threaten Ryan Williams’ single-season mark of 1,655 set in

Following is a portion of the Hokie Football Annual’s interview with
Wilson. For the full conversation—plus comments from David’s parents, Dwight
and Shelia, see this year’s HFA. TechSideline.com readers get a special:
20% off the list price.
Just click on the button below to order. This year’s
HFA is bigger and better than last year’s. It’s 128 full-color pages with more
features, particularly ones you’ll find in no other print magazine. Things like:

  • Round Table Discussion of the Hokie Football Program with TSL’s Chris
    Coleman and Darryl Slater of the Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • Recruiting Analysis with experts
  • Examining the state of the program
  • 10 Things You’ll Never Hear at a Tech Tailgate
  • 25 Rules for True Tech Fans
  • Ranking the Hokie Football Uniforms
  • Interviews with Tech legends Bruce Smith, Jim Pyne and Tyrod Taylor
  • John Moody’s All-Time Tech Team
  • Jud Dunlevy’s 2007 Rewind
  • .. and much, much more. If you love TSL, then you’ll love the HFA.


Here we go:

HOKIE FOOTBALL ANNUAL: What was your most memorable moment from last

DAVID WILSON: The Georgia Tech kickoff return for a touchdown. I can
remember everything about it, still. On the sideline, Tyrod (Taylor) said, “Come
on, man, get us good field position.” Tony Gregory was back there with me. The
kick was in the middle of the field, a little to my side. I called Tony off. I
got the ball and took off. Their kicker (Scott Blair) is pretty fast. He caught
me by my shoestrings at Georgia Tech last year. There was a picture of it on
Google and I didn’t like that. I saw him and he had the angle. I thought, “Not
this year.”

HFA: You’re the primary running back now. Ideally, how many carries
would you like to get per game this season?

DW: Anywhere between 15-20 would be good. I’ll take all they can
give me.

HFA: You’re the only Tech player to return two kickoffs for
touchdowns in one season. If you getting 20 carries a game, do you still want
the added burden of being a return man?

DW: Oh, yes. I like being able to make a big impact in the game.

HFA: What talents do players on this team possess that most people don’t
know about?

DW: Jarrett Boykin is a really good artist. He saw me drawing one day
and said, “I can draw better than you.” Then he showed me a drawing. It was
pretty good.

HFA: So you’re an artist?

DW: I draw. I’m a lefty. I got it from my Dad. I like drawing
animals and nature, but I’ll draw anything.

HFA: Speaking of animals, give us the real scoop on catching that rabbit.

DW: I wasn’t going to class or anything. I was just walking around
campus, towards Burruss Hall. It’s not like I chased it or anything. I just
snuck up on it. It didn’t notice me, or didn’t think I was going to try to
catch it. I took like 10 steps and grabbed him by the ears. I shocked myself
when I had it in my hand. It started kicking. It felt like his ears might rip so
I let him go.

HFA: So it was more quickness than pure speed. Now, if he were
running, could you catch it?

DW: I don’t know. I’ve chased a couple of them at home. That wasn’t
my first time catching one. At home I caught two. But you could tell they weren’t
full grown. I guess their parents were in a hole or something.

HFA: Did I hear a rumor that you ran up one of the Cassell Coliseum

DW: I did that my freshman year, too.

HFA: How far up did you get?

DW: The roof.

HFA: You did not.

DW: It was one of the middle (buttresses) on the left side, toward the
front of the building. I got a running start from the sidewalk and I went to the
roof (laughs).

HFA: I have a hard time believing that.

DW: It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.

HFA: How did you get down?

DW: I got low and crab-walked.

HFA: And you weren’t scared.

DW: A little. It was high. As I was going up I thought, “How am I
going to get down?” But I kept going.

HFA: Please, for the love of Tyrod, anybody reading this at home,
promise me you’ll never try that again. And that goes for anybody at home
reading this. OK, what’s your favorite spot on campus, and please do not say
the roof of Cassell Coliseum.

DW: Since I spend 95% of my time in the athletics complex, I have to
say in there. The weight room, football field, the track.

(As one could imagine, Shelia Wilson was not too pleased to hear about her
son’s Cassell buttress escapade. “I said to him, ‘David, what are you
doing? You can’t be doing that. He said, ‘I just wanted to see if I could do
it. I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody.’ I said, ‘Don’t EVER do that again.’
I hope, as he gets older, he’ll tune things down a little bit.”)

HFA: If you were a sportswriter, what rule would you follow in
interviewing athletes?

DW: I would avoid questions that make the player uncomfortable. Some
sportswriters will come up to you after the game and ask, “Did you agree with
the call did the coach made?” I’m like, “That’s my coach. That’s not a
good question to ask.” I wouldn’t take something out of context and use it
to make my story better.

This is just a portion of our two-page spread on Wilson, which includes
original artwork of David by his father, Dwight. For the complete story, please
see the 2011 Hokie Football Annual. TSL readers get 20% off, for the special
price of $11.99.

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