However, Wilson was advised earlier this month to give up playing football due to a spine and neck condition, and his new dream might now include a return to track and field for the former two-sport athlete from Virginia Tech. And with Wilson, the goals are never small.
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“That would be my aspiration: to be in the Olympics,” Wilson told Yahoo! Sports. “To compete in track again and be in a field where I could be at a high, competitive level. To be in that field again and maybe in the Olympics would be amazing.”
Before the Giants selected him in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Wilson competed with both the Virginia Tech indoor and outdoor track teams, concentrating as a jumper and earning All-America honors as a junior while having a standout career on the football team. Splitting time between the two sports, he participated in the ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, where he placed second in the triple jump and qualified for the NCAA Nationals.
But football would be where he ultimately made his professional debut.
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That was before he suffered a neck injury last October against the Philadelphia Eagles, which led to surgery -- a fusion of the vertebrae to repair the herniated disc in his neck -- over the offseason. Upon his 2014 return, Wilson was forced to leave a training camp practice after suffering a burner and showing symptoms of his original injury.
That’s when the football path ended.
“When life knocks you down, I always say plan to land on your back because if you can look up, you can get up,” Wilson said in the days after being advised to quit the game. “But if you’re flat on your face, that can kill your spirit. Always think of it in that aspect – if you can look up, you can get up. So far, I can look up and I plan on getting up and living my dream and setting another one for me to live out.”