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New York’s David Wilson Runs Into Giant Expectations

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By Evan Batten

Name: David Wilson – RB – #22
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 206 lbs.
Age: 22
Hometown: Danville, VA
College: Virginia Tech
Experience: 1 year

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 07:  David Wilson #22 of the New York Giants scores a touchdown as  Usama Young #28 of the Cleveland Browns and  T.J. Ward #43 give chase during their game at MetLife Stadium on October 7, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

(Credits, Al Bello/Getty Images)

After the 2011 season, the greater part of 8 million football fans in New York City were galvanized, celebrating the recent Super Bowl victory for their home team over the New England Patriots.

Despite the new hardware, the brass of the reigning champions knew there was work to be done. They knew that the Giants barely made the playoffs after finishing 9-7. They knew their rushing game lacked clout––after all, they ranked last in the entire league with only 89.2 rushing yards per game and an average of 3.5 yards per carry.

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And that’s where running back David Wilson would come in.

Wilson heard his name proclaimed on national television at pick #32.

On December 9th, 2012, he lit up the world with sparks of incredible potential. After rushing for 100 yards, two touchdowns and 227 return yards, including a 97-yard return, he put his name on the map. Wilson would end up leading the league with 1,533 kickoff return yards.

Although the Giants didn’t make the playoffs, they improved to 14th in the league with 116.4 rushing yards per game and 7th in the league with and 4.6 yards per carry.

Growing up in Danville, Virginia, a town with a population of just 43,000, David Wilson is used to the limelight.

A high school All-American running back with a 30″ wing span, Wilson was known in his small town for his incredible athletic ability. He even managed to placed first at the Nike Indoor Nationals for the triple jump with a meet-record and prep-best length of 51-5.75.

After receiving numerous offers from universities hoping to recruit him, Wilson chose Virginia Tech and headed there to study history and play ball.

The Virginia Tech Hokies gave WIlson the ball 462 times during his college career, and he showed the nation what his hometown already knew while piling up 2,662 yards and 18 touchdowns––he’s nimble; he’s stealthy. He’s a player who kept opposing coaches up all night with racing thoughts and nervous stomachs.

Virginia Tech had him on kick returns, which really elevated him into a human highlight reel––61 career returns for 1,324 yards, an average of nearly 22 yards. In 2011, Wilson was the ACC Player of the Year and a second-team All-American; he even placed 6th nationally in the triple jump at the NCAA Championships.

After a stellar NFL Combine with a 4.49 40-yard dash, his 41″ vertical jump and 11′ broad jump were the best among running backs. Wilson was gaining recognition as one of the top talents in the 2012 NFL Draft. 

Head coach Tom Coughlin is known for having a one-two punch of running backs. This season we can predict that Wilson will see a larger role in the rushing game as the dashing dynamic one, racking up the majority of yards while Andre Brown will bruise past for touchdowns and short yardage situations.

Analyzing his 71 rushing plays from the 2012 season, the Giants gave him 51 carries throughout the first and fourth quarters, roughly 72 percent of his total of 71 carries. With those numbers, it is safe to say that he is not an every down back; durability is an issue, and the Giants don’t want him to get worn down and risk an unnecessary injury.

The Giants are really coveting a mightier offensive attack this season, re-signing star wide receiver Victor Cruz and drafting offensive tackle Justin Pugh with the 19th pick.

Sunday, September 8th. That day is highlighted on the calendar of every Danville, New York City, and Dallas resident. The 2013 season opens with a fiery rivalry with a scorching past. The Giants at the Cowboys. D-Town vs The City of Dreams.

By now Wilson must be used to the pressure. His sturdy shoulders adjusted to the weight of his family, friends, neighbors from his high school days, to his college days where he majored in history, to his NFL rookie season where he slowly gained more affection from the millions of fans in The Big Apple.

Wilson must be ready to take the field with his teammates in red, white, blue, and gray. Wilson must be ready to take on the hundreds of NFL defenders who are only trying to stop him. That is, if they can grab him. It only makes sense for Wilson to have a degree in history, after all, he’s in a great position to re-write it with millions of fan watching.

For more NFL player features, visit 32 Players 32 Days 

Evan Batten is a freelance writer covering all things Denver. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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