- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 4, 2011

Eighty-seven of the 89 players on the Washington Redskins’ roster are taller than Josh Wilson. But what the 5-foot-9 cornerback lacks in stature, he makes up for in energy, speed and enthusiasm.

That’s true off the field, too, as Wilson is working to convince free agent middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu to join the Redskins. Tatupu, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, took a physical with the team Thursday, according to coach Mike Shanahan.

“I’m definitely trying to persuade him,” Wilson said. “That’s my guy. I love to play with Lofa. That’s one of my favorite players I’ve ever had the opportunity to be on the field with. He’s taught me so much.”

Wilson and Tatupu were teammates on the Seattle Seahawks from 2007 until Wilson was dealt to the Baltimore Ravens last year. He agreed to terms of a three-year deal with the Redskins as a free agent July 27.

Good friends today, Wilson and Tatupu’s relationship wasn’t always smooth. Raised in Prince George’s County, Wilson starred at Maryland and joked he couldn’t find Seattle on a map. As a Seahawks rookie in 2007, he scuffled with Tatupu.

“Whenever I get into a minor heated discussion with somebody, they become one of my closest friends,” Wilson said. “After that we had nothing but respect. I think he wanted to see if I really had the fire inside of me.”

The Seahawks released the 28-year-old Tatupu on July 31 after three consecutive seasons beset by injuries. When healthy, the 6-foot, 250-pound Tatupu can anchor a defense.

“As soon as I heard Petey [Carroll] and the crew let him go, I was like, ‘Hey, man,’” Wilson said. “We’re communicating in good fashion. Playing with him would be another blessing for me, but I’ve got to remember it’s where he wants to go.”

• Nathan Fenno can be reached at nfenno@washingtontimes.com.

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