- - Friday, December 16, 2011

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Virginia Tech junior running back David Wilson is on the verge of realizing a lifelong dream of playing in the NFL. But he has to decide whether he wants to go pro this year or wait until after his senior season.

His father said he thinks he should choose the NFL now.

“I think he should go, personally, but I haven’t told him that yet,” Dwight Wilson said in a phone interview on Friday.

Wilson has spoken to his son at length about his football future, but he has never told him what he should do. He said it’s up to David to make that decision.

He has a strong feeling about where his son is leaning.

“I think he’ll probably go ahead and go,” Wilson said. “He didn’t tell me. Honestly he didn’t, but that’s just my opinion. I think he’s going to go.

“I’d say it’s a real high percentage that he will go, but it’s up to him. I’ll just be glad he doesn’t come back home.”

As recently as last Saturday, David Wilson said he was torn between staying for his senior season and declaring for the draft. He was singing a different tune during an interview Thursday.

“I’m still thinking about both, but I kind of know what I want to do,” he said.

Wilson, the ACC Player of the Year and a second-team All-American, seemed much more certain about his football future, but he said he would not make his intentions known until after the Jan. 3 Sugar Bowl.

Wilson, who has rushed for 1,627 yards and nine touchdowns this season, still hasn’t received his paperwork back from the NFL’s draft advisory board, which evaluates an underclassmen’s draft stock and projects where he might be selected.

But there’s plenty of information out there to indicate Wilson could be drafted high.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay lists Wilson as a potential first-round pick, and NFL.com ranks him second among all draft-eligible running backs.

Despite the lofty projections, Hokies running backs coach Shane Beamer thinks Wilson could benefit from another year of college.

“I think it would be great for him as a player and then off the field to be more prepared and more ready for that level [in the NFL],” Beamer recently said. “Having said that, he’s got to do what’s best for his family.”

Wilson recently said he values his college experience, but he has dreamed of playing in the NFL since he was 5 years old.

He said he hasn’t lost any sleep over his deliberations, because he thinks he can’t go wrong with either.

“I’ve come to realize that in this decision, there’s no right or wrong,” Wilson said. “When somebody says, ‘Do you want a Ferrari or a Lamborghini?,’ you’re not going to be … I mean, both of them are good. Regardless of what you’re going to do with them, both of them are good cars to have.

“You’ve got to make the decision you make and realize you made it and make it right.”

Dwight Wilson said he and his family will support David in whatever decision he makes. He echoed his son’s statement that he can’t go wrong. If he came back to Tech, he would be a Heisman Trophy candidate for a team that could contend for a national championship. If he goes to the NFL, he’d make a lot of money and fulfill a lifetime goal.

“It’s like winning a million dollars or a million wishes,” Dwight Wilson said.

Wilson said he is on track to earn his degree next year. He said that would be a significant accomplishment. So did his father.

But neither said it was a necessity at this point.

“When you came out of high school, if somebody had asked you to start writing for a newspaper company before you went to college and they offered you a high salary, would you have even went to college?” Dwight Wilson asked.

“That’s where he is if he’s getting the job he wanted without doing what he is supposed to. That’s it in a nutshell. I don’t mean to look down on education, but it’s just the facts.”

Dwight Wilson said his son’s football future has been a popular topic of discussion with friends and strangers alike. He seemed a little weary of answering all the questions.

He has now publicly voiced his opinion and will wait with everybody else to find out what his son decides.

“I think he should go at the end of the story,” Dwight Wilson said. “I’m letting it out so people stop asking me.”

Read Nathan Warters’ Virginia Tech blog at VTeffect.com

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