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Front Office discusses RB David Wilson

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GM JERRY REESEDavid Wilson, running back, Virginia Tech.  Terrific football player. This guy loves to play football. We like all of that stuff about him. He's fast. He's productive. He can do anything you want him to do. He can catch the ball. He can return kicks. I think he was the overall ACC Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year there. He's an early out junior. Terrific football player. He's a good piece to put in our running back stable along with some of the other backs that we have and we're happy to have a player of his caliber.

Q: Did you have more choices than you thought you'd have at 32?A: We did. There were still several players on the board that we liked, but David was rated our highest player there and he was the best value because he was the highest player there at the time and a little bit of a need pick for us as well. So we got a combination of both. You like to get a combination of both things and we were able to do that tonight.

Q: Was there concern that Tampa Bay was going to take your guy when they traded up?A: There was some thought that if they take that guy we have two or three other guys that we like. So it wasn't a panic situation for us because we had some more guys that we liked at that spot.

Q: Was there another running back in that group too?A: We had him stacked close. We liked him as well. We had him stacked pretty close.

Q: Seemed like you took a while to make the pick.A: We just wanted to stay on the clock and make sure that nobody was in love with that spot and wanted to move up and give us the mother lode.

Q: Is it fair to say he was the second running back on your board?A: I think it's probably pretty fair to say that.

Q: He was a kick returner too.A: Yep. He has been a kick returner, yeah. As a sophomore he had 22 kickoff returns for 584 yards, 26.5 average, 92 long and two touchdowns as a sophomore. Again, he's an early-out junior.

Q: Is that a projected role for him?A: He can do everything. He can be a kick returner for you. He can play on the cover team. This is a hard-nosed football player and we like this guy. He's going to earn his stripes on special teams like most young players do and he'll be in the mix with the rest of our running backs for playing time from scrimmage as well. We like this guy.

Q: Is there a guy in the league that he reminds you of?A: It's too late to try to think of something like that. Ask me tomorrow so I can sleep on it.

Q: Will Ahmad's role change to that of a bigger back with this guy?A: This kid's a hard-nosed player. He can run inside. He can run outside. I don't think Ahmad's role is going to change. He's going to be our lead dog and again, this guy is going to be a nice piece in our running back stable. It's up to the coaches how they want to use him.

Q: You haven't picked a running back this high in a while.A: The only reason that hasn't happened is because there hasn't been a running back at the time [that was] the highest player on our board. We're not afraid to pick a running back high. We'll pick any player high that's the highest player on our board. It just hasn't happened that way. It's been other players at that spot.

Q: Seems like a colorful guy.A: Yeah he's an enthusiastic player. The guy loves to play football. He's going to bring a lot of personality. You guys will like him. He's wound tight.

Q: With so many trades, were you close to trading up?A: No, we were never close to moving up. We knew that there were going to be some good players down at 32. And again, some players came off from different spots on the board. We were a little surprised about a few picks, but we said that in the pre-draft presser, that we thought some players would come off all over the board. We saw some of that tonight.

Q: Was the way he was consistently productive attractive to you?A: Absolutely, yeah. He's definitely a productive player. 1,700 yards. A six yard average. We think we have a good player here.

Q: With the injuries at tight end, did you consider drafting a player at that position?A: We just tried to pick the best player up there and this guy's the best player for us. So he was a pretty easy pick for us.

Q: Were you surprised that the picks were occurring so quickly?A: I'm not surprised. Guys have a long time to figure out who they want to take and people were ready to pull the trigger. Nobody wants to be up after midnight doing the draft.

Q: Cordy Glenn from Georgia was projected really high. Were you surprised he dropped?A: I'm never surprised by anything in the draft. I learned that a long time ago as a young scout. Don't let anything surprise you in the draft. So I'm not surprised by that.

**Director of College Scouting Mark Ross

Q: An easy pick?**A: Yeah, very. Very easy.

Q: Why?A: In the draft there are certain players that you evaluate when you go through the process that despite differences on what you think his speed or toughness or this and that is, you come away at the end of your report saying this guy's a good football player. There are only a handful of those guys in the draft every year and in our meeting this was one of those players where everybody, despite what you may have thought, came away at the end of the report and said this guy's a good football player. That's very intriguing.

Q: At what point did you say, 'If he's there we need to pick him'?A: When the reports come-in in the fall about the guy and the grades are coming and then once we start meeting and then everything merges together and we start stacking the board then it becomes more clear about the pecking order between all of the positions about who is going to go higher and how you like them.

Q: When did you see him play?A: I saw him play against Virginia, their big game this year at UVA. He tore those guys up pretty good.

Q: Is he similar to anybody?A: No. He's kind of unique because he's smaller in stature, but real thick thighs. You'll see him when he comes here. He's real powerful for a little guy. His balance is incredible, just the way he can stay on his feet and get in awkward positions and still come out of it, but he also has speed. Nobody really comes to mind right away.

Q: Did he come on your radar last year?A: He's a guy you always noticed. Those good players you always notice them when their young. He's a kid that they talked about – big recruit and he made big plays from when he was young, despite those other guys. He did the kick return stuff. He's somebody you always noticed. When you see a guy running a 92-yard kickoff to win a game you kind of take notice of him.

Q: He'll be an elite running back in the NFL?A: I think so, yeah. I think so. He's done it [at Virginia Tech]. Every game he's [putting up] 100 yards. He is their offense and I think he can do the same thing here.

Q: In terms of off the field, what type of reports did you get?A: Tremendous. Tremendous. 'The best I've ever coached' kind of reports. 'Best worker in here.' 'Pound for pound strongest.' 'Loves the game.' When you get those types of accolades from coaches, trainers, equipment people, whoever deals with the kid, and blend it together with a great football player you can't go wrong.

Q: Seems like a colorful guy.A: Yeah. He is. He's a live wire now. Energetic. Personable. I thought I would get the back flip question earlier. I guess you guys haven't done your research. When I called him I said, 'You called JPP out so you better come up here and deliver on these back flips.' But he's that type of kid, just an energetic, live wire kid.

**
Head Coach Tom Coughlin

**This young man was attractive to us for many reasons. Obviously his speed, you have a 4.4 running back. You have a guy who's the ACC Player of the Year, 1700 yards rushing, kickoff returns for a career over a thousand yards, 1300-plus yards, caught the ball out of the backfield. Needs some work in some of the other areas. You know, pass protection and that kind of thing, as do a lot of these young guys. And also the question comes up about ball security and we'll remind him of that right away. But I think every team has done that with him and he's very, very much aware of that. He has great energy when you speak to him. He is knowledgeable. He presents himself very, very well. You're probably well aware of that. But he's the kind of guy that we felt would add very much to our present situation in terms of the big play potential. He's one of the guys that has the speed and maneuverability to make the big play and that's what was very important to us at this time. We were fortunate in that the players that we had set aside were all of need, need positions, and this guy was the highest rated.

Q: When you have a 5'9" running back with trouble blocking, do you feel better that Ahmad Bradshaw was similar and came along?A: When you look at the great runners that have come along in the last 25 years, you do have a few of those people that are in that category. I think, according to David tonight, he was 208. He'll probably be 210, 212 when he gets in this program. I know Virginia Tech has an outstanding strength program. When he gets here and gets a little bit more physical maturity I think he'll be a little bit heavier. But there's a knack to these individuals, to these guys that don't appear to have that kind of size to match up, there's a knack and there's a way in which they go about their business. It will be something that will be of a concern for us right away, but I think he'll pick it up fast. He seems to be that kind of a young man and hopefully he'll be as much a threat coming out of the backfield as it is for people to make decisions on whether they want to rush and how they want to go about rushing.

Q: Have you had a chance to see him in person or watch tape on him?A: I've looked at tape and obviously the combine stuff. We've done our homework.

Q: You were last in the league in rushing last season. Were you saying, 'We need to fix this.'A: That, but also we're looking at the fact that Brandon [Jacobs] is no longer here and we do have to try to balance that out. We believe that you do have to have multiple runners or at least two that can effectively take the field at any time and this young man we thought was one of those that can be a big play threat.

Q: How does he fit with Ahmad Bradshaw?A: He fits well.

Q: Will his skills compliment Ahmad Bradshaw's?A: I certainly think so and I think he presents problems for the defense just as Ahmad does, whether or not you're going to be involved in the screen game or pulling him out of the back field, throwing him the go-screen as we have done many times with Ahmad. Ahmad is a physical, physical football player and a tackle-breaker and that type of thing. I think David is a guy that certainly has the yardage to prove that he can break tackles as well, but he also has the speed to give you the big play.

Q: What do you think of his personality?A: He's pretty outgoing and we're probably going to have to tell him 'David, you don't have to wear a coat and tie to meetings every day.'

Q: Did he wear it to your interview?A: Oh yeah.

Q: He said he wore it to class every day.A: Wears it to class. All I say, he's sharp.

Q: I would think you would like that.A: I do like that, yeah.

Q: Do take into account Bradshaw's issues with his feet?A: You have to think of that. As I said, it would be a wonderful thing to have Ahmad be able to have a season without those issues, but if they do become an issue again then obviously you have to have some outstanding, talented people to take up the slack a little bit. I think Ahmad will always be there on game day and hopefully we'll get to the point where he practices more often, but if that's not the case then we have to get these other people ready to go.

Q: How difficult is it to make the pick?A: Well we discuss all of those players that are put in that bunch, if you will, right before your take. You discuss them all. There's discussion about each player. It's not easy, but in the long run you hope you make the best decisions for the teams

Q: Is the ball security issue a problem with him trying to get extra yards?A: Oh yeah, that's just the flamboyant, all over the place kind of stuff. He just has to learn that that ball gets in a position, such as away from your body and good things do not happen.

Q: Is it a high and tight thing?A: It's a high and tight thing for sure.

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