He wears a suit to class, does flips at practice, and enjoys every minute of his time on the football field. Oh, and by the way, David Wilson is a damn good running back who recently boosted his draft stock with a solid combine performance. Not only did he impress on the field at the combine, but he was the only player to wear a suit to his combine interviews. Talk about being prepared to impress.
DLF recently spent time with David Wilson of Virginia Tech and talked about the pre-draft process, his combine performance, his pro-day next week, as well as his skills as a running back.
Here are excerpts of interview:
Steve Wyremski (SW): How’s everything going? How do you feel after blowing up the combine?
David Wilson (DW): I was surprised I performed as well as I did. Not because of my athletic ability, but because I only trained like a week and a half because I was hospitalized.
SW: Really? You were in the hospital? What were you dealing with there?
DW: Mrsa [staff infection that does not respond to antibiotics].
SW: Really? Wow.
DW: Yeah, it had me down for a while. I couldn’t even walk, so I trained two weeks and went to the combine. That’s part of the reason why my 40 wasn’t as fast as I wanted it to be.
SW: Yeah, I was going to ask you about that. I mean, 4.49 is still pretty impressive, but with track in your background a lot of guys thought you’d run a little faster. So you attribute that to your time in the hospital?
DW: Yeah, because I hadn’t run a time like that since like 10th grade.
SW: So are you going to run at your pro day then next week?
DW: Yeah, most definitely.
SW: What time can we expect at your pro day as compared to what you ran [at the combine]? What type of time were you running prior to the combine and when you were hospitalized?
DW: I was running 80% and I was running 4.34. I expect to definitely be in the low 4.3’s, but I’m aiming for 4.2 something.
SW: You’re talking about the interviews. It got a lot of headlines that you showed up in a suit as opposed to sweats, which hasn’t been done in a few years now. Why’d you decide to put on the suit?
DW: I thought that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I mean… it’s a job interview. I wouldn’t show up in sweats even if I was going for a job working at Burger King.
SW: That’s how you dressed for classes too, huh?
DW: Yeah, shirt and tie to classes. That started my senior year in high school and I did it in college as well.
Download the complete audio of the interview to find out how the NFL team’s reacted to this.
SW: You mentioned that [the teams] ask various things [in the combine interviews]. Some are more laid back, some aren’t. How many teams actually asked you to get up at the board and draw X’s and O’s?
DW: I’d say 90%. I had 20 interviews and I’d say that there were very few times where I didn’t go up to the board.
SW: So, what types of things are they asking of you at the board?
DW: Draw up this defense and “what would you do if this guy blitzed”. Sometimes it was “show me your favorite run play”, “show me inside zone”, “show me outside zone”, [or], “show me a pass pick up”. All the things you can imagine for my position.
SW: Sticking with improvements, you obviously had a ton of success at the college level. Now going to the NFL, there are different things you need to improve on. What do you think you need to work on the most or what have coaches told you that you need to work on the most to succeed at the next level?
DW: I’d say the thing that coaches said I need to improve on, and it’s probably close to the only thing, was ball security.
Download the complete audio of the interview for further discussion on areas of improvement.
SW: I read back in the bowl championship time a New York Times article which talked about how you’re an energetic guy [and] your always joking around in practice. Now that you’re moving on to the NFL, do you think that will change at all or put on hold when you step on the practice field in the NFL later this year?
DW: When people use the word joking, I think a lot of people get a misperception of what I actually do when I’m out on the field. I just have fun. Not necessarily pranks. It’s just me having fun. Like, sometimes I just run. When I get the ball in practice, I just run all the way down to the touchdown. I may do a flip in practice. It’s not joking in terms of, “oh, he’s goofy” or anything like that. I love football. When I’m on the field… that’s my playground, so I have fun while I’m out there.
There’s nothing better than an NFL player who’s a likeable, loves the game, plays the game well, and dresses the part. That’s exactly what David is/will be once he’s drafted next month. It’s hard not to root for this kid.
To listen to the full interview, download the complete audio of the interview.
Steve Wyremski can be found on twitter @SteveWyremski