David Wilson has a lot to offer to an NFL franchise if he decides to forego his senior year as a Hokie and enter the NFL draft. In 2011, he was voted as the ACC Offensive and Overall Player of the Year.
Wilson has submitted paperwork to the NFL draft committee to determine when he would be drafted. The committee’s results will not be made available to the public, but it is fair to expect David Wilson to be drafted somewhere in the first three rounds. The question now is, should he leave?
Wilson clearly has the talent, work ethic and ability to move on to the next level. While Wilson knows this, he also has some wisdom about the process from Ryan Williams and Darren Evans.
Many believe that Ryan Williams left a year too soon. He also suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason.
Evans was projected as a fourth- to sixth-round pick, but went undrafted in April. He ended up signing with the Indianapolis Colts, but was recently cut and is now on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad.
Evans had a good reason to leave early, he wanted to be a provider for his son. Wilson doesn’t have the same responsibilities, but his recent statements seem to imply that he is leaning towards the NFL.
Wilson was unhappy after the 38-10 loss to Clemson in the ACC Championship Game. The running back ran the ball 11 times for 32 yards. He needed 61 yards to surpass Ryan Williams’ single-season VT rushing record. After the game, he voiced displeasure with the play-calling.
Wilson stated, “I never got to get in a rhythm. My carries came far between.”
This isn’t the best way to stay on the good side of your star player. The best player needs the ball in his hands—that wasn’t happening against Clemson. The running back speculated about the lack of carries saying, “Part of the reason we stopped running the ball is because I guess the coaches thought it was unsuccessful the times we did try.”
This may have simply been an emotional response from a young man who has a reputation for wearing his heart on his sleeve, or it could have been the NFL calling. Of course, neither Frank Beamer nor Hokie fans want to see No. 4 leave the friendly confines of Lane Stadium after this season.
Wilson has been a dark-horse Heisman candidate all season, but he was never able to truly put himself in the discussion as a contender. Earlier this year, Frank Beamer gave David Wilson some Heisman credit. He also provided a reason for Wilson to stay. Beamer said, “I think once you get in the mix, your name is out there next year, too.”
The possibility of winning the Heisman could certainly be a lure to Wilson, but the possibility of a shot at the national championship may be a bigger draw. Virginia Tech had a great season in 2011 (other than games against Clemson) and a number of key contributors will probably be returning for the 2012 campaign. The Hokies will probably be considered dark-horse title contenders.
If Wilson returns, then he will be returning to a bunch of “maybes” surrounding the Hokies: Maybe the Hokies will play for the title, maybe Wilson could compete for the Heisman, maybe Virginia Tech will be an ACC contender again. The NFL isn’t a surefire prospect, either.
Wilson could flame out in the NFL, or he could become an All-Pro tailback. The truth of the matter is that it is a gamble for Wilson if he stays or goes. Wilson would probably benefit more from staying in college for one more year and graduating from a good school. That gives Wilson backup options in case the NFL doesn’t pan out.
No matter what Wilson’s decision is, he will always have a home in Blacksburg. The Hokie faithful will support him unconditionally.