After a distinguished college career in which he set a school rushing record and was named an All-American in football and track, Virginia Tech’s David Wilson approached the NFL Scouting Combine with the goal of combining his skills from both sports to help him stand out from the competition Sunday.
“I look at this combine thing as another track meet,” said Wilson, who last fall rushed for 1,709 yards and last spring finished sixth in the country in triple jump. “I told my sister the other day on the phone ‘I finally get to run another track meet.’ You’ve got the broad jump, which is like the long jump, the 40 is like the 100, vertical jump, high jump. All this stuff just goes hand-in-hand, and at the end of the day, you’ve got football drills.
“They know I’m fast; maybe I can show I’m faster, catching all the footballs and just standing out from the crowd, and not just the running backs — all the players here.”
The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Wilson stood out as a kick returner at Virginia Tech as well, and believes that added versatility could give him a further edge in the eyes of teams considering him in the NFL draft.
“I’m very comfortable being back there catching kicks, and I think that’s an asset I bring because not all the backs in the draft return kicks,” Wilson said.
Although eager to begin the next chapter of his career, Wilson, who projects as a second-rounder, looks back on his time at Virginia Tech fondly. And he said he wrestled with the decision to leave school after his junior year, something that came as a surprise to him.
“Coming out of high school, I thought it’d be real easy to make the decision,” Wilson said. “But after getting to college and making friends and establishing relationships with teammates and coaches and actually having a second home now, it made it a little bit harder. But at the end of the day, I had to do what was the best for me.”
Wilson says that his Combine performance doesn’t complete his pre-draft work. He elected not to perform the bench press in Indianapolis, but will at Virginia Tech’s Pro Day next month. Wilson said he wanted more time to prepare for the bench press, an evaluation exercise in which players are judged on how many times they can rep 225 pounds. Wilson believes a solid performance at his Pro Day will further cement his status as one of the top backs in the draft.
“Since I was 6 or 7 years old, I wanted to play in the NFL, or play football at least. I’m just blessed to be here,” Wilson said. “ Scouts have me ranked pretty high. It’s right in front of me just to grab it, take advantage here at the combine, just up my stock and perform at my Pro Day.”