Josh Wilson knows what its like to work at FedEx Field; he started out when he was 13 years old. Now a projected starting cornerback for the Washington Redskins, Wilson's work day Sunday afternoons will be a bit of an upgrade over his former job.
"It's going to be a great feeling not having to serve fries to the fans," Wilson said with a beaming smile, and only partially joking. A native of Prince George's County, Wilson has some fond memories of his days working the concessions stands at FedEx Field, and waiting outside the stadium to see his favorite players.
"I remember standing out there getting autographs. I was a big fan of Darrell Green, Gary Clark, Brian Mitchell, Mark Rypien, Champ Bailey. But it's still going to be great to be working out on the field instead of in the stands," Wilson said.
A graduate of DeMatha High School and the University of Maryland, Wilson was drafted by Seattle in 2007. After three years with the Seahawks, Wilson was traded to the Baltimore Ravens last season.
In July, the Redskins acquired Wilson as a free agent and signed him to a three-year deal worth a reported $13.5 million, with $6 million guaranteed.
"It's a dream come true to be able to play back home play for the home team, the team I grew up knowing and following and loving," Wilson said.
"My family is living it up right now, being able to come to games and not have to wear two jerseys. They were always telling me, 'We're going to root for you unless you play the Skins.' Now they can always root for me," Wilson said.
The 5-foot-9, 192-pound corner is expected to start opposite DeAngelo Hall. Last season with the Ravens, Wilson started nine games, with 40 tackles and three interceptions.
"Hopefully, I will mesh with the Skins, and it will be a great fit. I'll be off and running and the team will be off and running, right into the playoffs," Wilson said.
But if there's one drawback to playing at home, it's the overwhelming number of ticket requests Wilson has received from family, friends, and just about anyone else he's ever met.
"I want to tell people right now, if I don't have your number, I may not answer the phone. In fact, even if I already know you, I might not answer," Wilson quipped.
A second generation NFL player, Wilson's father, Tim, was a running back from 1977 to 1984 with the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints.
Tim Wilson died in 1996 at age 42, when Josh was just 11. Regardless of what uniform his son wears Sunday afternoons, Josh knows his father would be proud.
"Dad would have been proud just to see me out there playing; doing something that I love to do, that I dreamed of," Wilson said.
"I set a goal and I accomplished it. He would be a proud father if he could see me today."
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