Virginia Tech running back David Wilson is just 60 yards away from breaking the school’s single-season rushing record, and he confirmed Tuesday night that there is a possibility it could be his last season in Blacksburg. The junior said he will soon submit paperwork to the NFL draft advisory board seeking their input on where he would potentially be selected in the 2012 NFL draft.
“Regardless of my decision, I would like to see where I would end up if I was to take that route,” Wilson said.
The Danville, Va., native is currently third in the country with 1,595 yards, and on Monday was one of two unanimous selections to the all-ACC first team. On Wednesday, there’s a good chance Wilson will be named the league’s offensive player of the year, and perhaps the overall player of the year as well.
Last year, running back Ryan Williams was told he would be drafted in the first or second round, and decided to forgo his final two years of eligibility and declared for the draft. He was selected with the ninth pick of the second round by the Arizona Cardinals.
Former running back Darren Evans also sought input from the NFL draft advisory board a year ago and was told he would get picked between the fourth and seventh rounds. Evans went undrafted, but was signed by his hometown Indianapolis Colts as a free agent.
The deadline for Wilson to submit paperwork to the NFL draft advisory board is Dec. 17. If he wants to declare for the 2012 NFL draft, he must do so by Jan. 15. He can’t withdraw after Jan. 18.
Most of the talk Tuesday night, however, surrounded Wilson’s emotional postgame speech that he delivered to his teammates just moments after they lost to Clemson back on Oct. 1. Wilson rushed for 123 yards in that game, but was held out the end zone.
Afterwards, Wilson said he walked straight to the Hokies locker room inside Lane Stadium, eschewing the postgame handshakes that he usually participates in, and broke down crying. Coach Frank Beamer then approached Wilson to comfort him, to which Wilson responded, “We shouldn’t have lost to them, coach.”
“It was emotional, so the team got in there and then just like a rage came over me,” Wilson recounted Tuesday after practice. “I was screaming at my team, telling them, ‘We shouldn’t have lost that game. They’re not better than us.’ I told them we weren’t gonna lose no more games and I told them I mean it.
“They were shocked. I don’t know what their reaction was but everyone was quiet. I remember looking up, in my emotion, and seeing everybody looking at me with big eyes. I was like real passionate after that game, determined not to lose any more games. The reason I was real emotional is it was the first time for me at Tech where I was really involved in a game where we lost. In the past years, I’ve been like a back up guy or a special teams guy and I really had no part in the game. That was the first time I had a part in the team where I lost.”
“It’s one of those moments where I felt outside of my body,” he continued. “I felt like I was watching me rage off.”
To Wilson’s credit, the Hokies haven’t lost a game since he delivered that diatribe. One thing to keep in mind, however, is the response from right guard Jaymes Brooks when I asked whether Wilson’s speech resonated with the team that day. The redshirt senior couldn’t put together a sentence before he started laughing about the moment.
As right tackle Blake DeChristopher said about Wilson hours earlier at the team’s weekly news conference, “Just follow him around, he’ll do something every minute that’s funny.”
If you want to get a sense of what this scene sounded like, Wilson said Tuesday his emotionas back in October were similar to a pregame speech he gave before arriving at Virginia Tech during the 2009 IFAF World Championship of American Football. Watch the below video and prepare to be entertained.