Wilson Is Ready to Answer the Call for Seattle
Seahawks Use Their First Selection to Take Former DeMatha, Maryland Star With 55th Overall Pick
Josh Wilson had an idea of when he might be picked in the NFL draft; the Maryland cornerback figured that he’d be taken in the second round, somewhere between the 40th and 60th picks. So he started to feel a little uneasy as he watched the draft at his mother’s house in Upper Marlboro, and saw the names of 54 other players flash across the screen.
He could finally relax around 8:40 p.m., when his phone rang and an unfamiliar number was displayed. It was the Seattle Seahawks, telling Wilson that they were taking him with the 55th overall pick.
“You try to not pay attention and do other things, but it’s hard. You sit there for so long and you just want your phone to ring,” Wilson said. “I’m just happy that it finally came. This is the best feeling.”
Even better was his destination. Seattle finished 9-7 last season, won its third straight division title, and made its fourth consecutive playoff appearance. When Wilson got on the phone with Mike Holmgren, the coach, he said Holmgren asked him, “Are you ready to win a Super Bowl?”
Wilson’s answer? “I could fly up there right now.”
“This is great,” said Wilson, who plans to travel to Seattle today. “This is the best-case scenario, going to an organization that’s very organized and that is really right on the thresh- old for winning a championship. If I can add that missing piece to help get them to the Super Bowl and win it, then that’s my best-case scenario.”
This marked the second year in a row that Seattle used its top draft pick on a cornerback; last season, the Seahawks took Miami cornerback Kelly Jennings with the 31st overall pick. The Seahawks did not have a first-round pick this year; they traded it to New England last September for wide receiver Deion Branch.
Wilson, an All-Met at DeMatha in 2002, started for two years at Maryland and led the Terrapins with 13 passes defensed as a senior. He also returned kicks, and set the school’s single-season record for return yards (847).
Both of the Seahawks’ starting cornerbacks, Marcus Trufant (knee) and Kelly Herndon (ankle), are coming off injuries, so Wilson will provide some depth. He is expected to contribute initially as a nickel back and a kick returner. “Whatever they have planned for me is what I’m willing to do,” said Wilson, who at 5 feet 9 is the shortest of the six cornerbacks who were drafted in the first and second rounds. “I’m not trying to come in there and take over shop; I’m just trying to help them win.”
Last year, the Washington area had two players — Virginia tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson (fourth overall) and Maryland tight end Vernon Davis (sixth) — drafted early in the first round. But yesterday, 54 picks and nearly nine hours had elapsed before Wilson heard his name called.
Two other local players were drafted late in the third round yesterday. Virginia Tech’s Aaron Rouse, a 6- foot-4, 225-pound safety, went to Green Bay as the 89th overall pick. Then Penn State running back Tony Hunt, who played at T.C. Williams, was taken by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 90th pick.
“This is the best feeling,” cornerback Josh Wilson said after his selection by Seattle, making him the first player drafted with local ties this year.