Former Missouri linebacker Andrew Wilson won’t be glued to the TV awaiting his fate this weekend during the NFL Draft.
Nope, Wilson, who is the 10th-leading tackler in Tigers history, has a different idea in mind.
“My plan is to find a little pond with (cell) service and just sit out and do a little fishing,” said Wilson, a Ray-Pec graduate. “I’m going to try to relax and, hopefully, I’ll get a call.”
Wilson, whose father went to camp with the Cleveland Browns in 1984, is a hard-hitting, throwback linebacker. He also ran a sub-4.7 40-yard dash and is a workout warrior, so there’s room for him in the modern NFL.
Now, he hopes at least one team out there agrees.
Wilson chatted with The Star this week about his thoughts on the upcoming draft and his journey to reach this week:
Q: Did it hit you like a ton of bricks Monday when you woke up that — finally — this was the week of the NFL Draft, your draft?
Wilson: “It really didn’t, but the more and more people talk about it, the more I’ve thought about it. I don’t think it’s going to actually hit me, though, until it’s actually happening.”
Q: Max Copeland said you two have gone crazy with workouts during the last few months, so how crazy has it been?
: “We really have gone crazy. We both graduated, so literally all we’ve done is get up, eat, work out, eat lunch, take like an hour nap and then go work out again. It’s been really fun but pretty intense.”
Q: How much more real will the idea of an NFL career seem after the draft?
: “I don’t know. I think it will feel the most real that first NFL game. I don’t know how it’s going to feel after the draft, but I’m kind of anxious for it. It’s definitely exciting to think I’ll have a home, because we’ve been in limbo for so long. Since the bowl game, the guys who are waiting haven’t really been part of a team, so it’ll definitely be exciting to be part of a team again.”
Q: Is there one teammate you’d love to line up and lay a lick on in an NFL game?
: “I have no idea. Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve never really got to hit (quarterback) James (Franklin, who always wore a non-contact QB jersey at practice), but I don’t know. If I met Max in the hole one day, that would be fun. That would be entertaining. I can’t decide if I’d be able to take him seriously or just make fun of Metallica the whole time. I don’t know how that would go, but it definitely would be funny, though.”
Q: Surely, you’d be able to talk a little smack and get into Max’s head a bit?
: “I feel like we’d just be making fun of each other the entire game.”
Q: I know you worked out with the Patriots, how many other teams have you talked to?
: “I don’t know an exact number, but I’ve talked to quite a few other teams. I’ve talked to a few coaches here and there. A lot of teams call and just check your draft-day info just in case. It doesn’t mean they’re interested and it doesn’t mean they’re not interested.”
Q: Would getting drafting by the Chiefs be the ultimate for you?
: “Oh yeah, I’d love the opportunity to play for Kansas City, but I’ll go anywhere. I’m happy to go anywhere. Obviously, Kansas City’s my home, so that would be really cool, but, just like the rest of us, we’d be happy to go anywhere.”
Q: How confident are you that you are going to get drafted?
: “I’ve heard late and I’ve heard not getting drafted, so I don’t know. I’d like to get drafted. That would be great, but, if not, it’s not the end of the world. We’ll just see what happens. I’m just going to be happy to be playing football again once it’s all said and done.”
Q: What is your sales pitch to every NFL team out there?
: “I’m a physical, hard-working guy, a smart linebacker and a guy who can run your defense and do everything you need me to do on special teams.”
Q: How long have you been dreaming about this weekend and the chance to make an NFL roster?
Wilson: “When you’re a kid and you start playing football, that’s every kid’s dream. Now that it’s finally reality, it’s kind of weird. But since I started playing football, I’ve wanted this just like every other little kid.”