Wil­son Is Ready to An­swer the Call for Seat­tle

Sea­hawks Use Their First Se­lec­tion to Take For­mer DeMatha, Mary­land Star With 55th Over­all Pick

The Washington Post Sunday - - Sports - By Camille Pow­ell

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.

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