Danville native David Wilson’s NFL career is likely over after doctors told him Monday that he should no longer play football because of a neck injury.
Wilson was the New York Giants’ first-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech in 2012. He had neck surgery in the offseason. Wilson was forced to leave practice Tuesday after suffering a burner, which caused numbness in his hands and lower extremities.
Wilson was originally hurt Oct. 6 in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He will be put on injured reserve for the 2014 season.
“I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me, or pity me,” Wilson was quoted as saying on the team’s website. “I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too.”
Wilson played five games in 2013, running for 146 yards and a touchdown. As a rookie in 2012, he accounted for 1,925 all-purpose yards, which is the sixth-highest total in team history.
“Growing up, ever since I was eight years old, I wanted to play in the NFL,” Wilson was quoted on the team’s website. “It was my dream. And I can’t say that I didn’t live my dream, because I did. I played for the New York Giants. I was a first round draft choice of the New York Giants. I scored touchdowns. I caught touchdowns. I returned kicks for touchdowns and I set records. So I got to do some of the things I dreamed of doing all my life.”
Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer was sad to hear the news when he heard it Monday, but is optimistic, "I feel for him, but I think he's the kind of kid that it's going to be okay. Whatever he's doing, he's going to be good at it," Beamer said.
WDBJ7 spoke with Bobby Martin, William Fleming High School's Head Football Coach who used to work with Wilson at G.W. Danville High School.
Martin echoed similar sentiments as Beamer, "He's just got to figure out what he wants to do. David will be fine, he's got a lot of people praying for him also, he'll be fine."
Wilson left Virginia Tech after his junior season. Before his senior season at GW Danville, Wilson was named the top recruit in the state by the recruiting website Rivals. He chose Virginia Tech over UVA, West Virginia, Clemson, Michigan, and several other schools. He broke the single-game rushing record at GW Danville and rushed for more than 2,300 yards and 35 touchdowns in his senior year. He was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Virginia and the Player of the Game in the Hawaii Polynesia Mainland Bowl. Wilson was also named a two-time Friday Football Extra Player of the Week in 2008. Click here to see highlights of David Wilson in high school.