A couple of weeks ago, we discussed how NFL running back David Wilson was forced to retire due to a reoccurring neck injury. This is no doubt bad for the New York Giants and their loyal bettors since it leaves a hole in the team’s running game. But it’s even worse for Wilson because his career has been drastically cut short after just two years in the league. But don’t cry for the 23-year-old – he’s already looking towards the next big thing.
Wilson’s neck “burner” may prevent him from safely taking hits in football, but it won’t slow the young man down. He now plans on trying to make it as a professional track star. He was on the Virginia Tech track team and made significant contributions during their 2011 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championship season. Wilson’s forte was the triple jump, and he placed sixth in the nation in this event.
He also ran the 100-meter dash and 60-meter dash, posting personal bests of 11.01 seconds and 6.86 seconds respectively. Of course, these aren’t quite world-class marks, but they show his all-around athleticism.
With his NFL career now over, Wilson can focus exclusively on the triple jump and long jump, where he’s leaped 16.20 meters and 7.23 meters respectively. In case you’re wondering, the world record for triple jump is 18.29 m, which is held by Britain’s Jonathan Edwards (1995). In the 2012 London Olympics, USA’s Christian Taylor won gold with a 17.81 m jump while Belarus’ Dzmitry Platnitski finished 12th in the finals with a 16.19 m triple jump.
Given the latter result, it’s certainly not inconceivable that Wilson could become an Olympic-level triple jumper. But first, he’ll have to attend some track meets as an unattached competitor. If he impresses scouts at these meets – which Wilson likens to a series of NFL Combines – he could get sponsored by a company. Assuming this happens, he’ll be a full-blown professional who can simply concentrate on improving his performance.
“That would be my aspiration – to be in the Olympics, to compete in track again and be in a field where I could be at a high, competitive level,” Wilson said. “To be in that field again and maybe in the Olympics would be amazing.”
Right now, the former football star is trying to drop 20 pounds off of his current 205-pound frame. Wilson believes that 185 pounds would be the ideal track competition weight for him.
It’s definitely tragic that Wilson’s football career had to be stopped short before he could really make an impact. But at least he has another opportunity waiting in the wings with track & field.