A Dawg on the Field
On a heated summer day in the middle of July, when the sweat burns like fire in your eyes, anxious football players pay no mind to the heat index that screams blazing. From the raunchy talk in the locker room to the seriousness of plays on the field, each player is ambitious in his own mindset. From pee wee days to four-year lettermen college days, each player anticipates going on to play professional ball in some aspect. Whether making an impact in arena football or running out the combines in the NFL, the dream that rises in a player’s heart is one that will never die. For guys like Byron Wilson, that dream has been birthed and is now growing like a wildfire in Southern California that even two fire stations can’t control.
Wilson, or B Will as his friends know him, has been waiting on his chance to dominate the world of football for a long time. When so many others did not believe in him, he pushed on and blocked out the negativity. With inspiration and dedication to the game he loved, he managed to sign with University of Toledo. Wilson transferred to Erie Community College, where he earned all conference honors as a middle linebacker and various offers from other D-1 schools. However, it wasn’t until he made his way to Alabama A & M University, home of the Bulldogs, that he started making a name for himself. Under Coach Anthony Jones, he started to learn his way. He quickly adjusted to the defensive end position very well. Linebacker is what he was use to, with his thirst for knowledge of the game and learning new positions, he was open to learn any and everything that would make him and keep him a versatile player. For two years, he played as a defensive end/linebacker for AAMU, where he also accumulated 15 sacks, one touchdown for 52 yards, four fumble recoveries, 40 tackles for loss, eight pass break ups, and 70 tackles. In his senior season, he was honored with the Iron Dog Award, as well as named as America’s Top HBCU Player in 2009. In the HBCU competition, top black college players go through a series of test drills and ability tests on and off the field to see who the best and top HBCU athlete is. With a sly grin on his face, a crushing smile on his lips, Wilson delighted at the fact that he won the competition.
Coaches often speak of his quickness and his special knowledge of quickly learning the game plan. Smith says that Wilson is one of those players that you have a game plan for agility, strength and quickness. Ask any of his teammates and they will tell you that Wilson is a great athlete with a lot of ability. He has a nose for the ball and is also a play maker that can play various positions from middle linebacker, defensive end, defensive tackle and outside linebacker. While at Ohio State University, Wilson’s Pro Day numbers recorded as the following: 40 Time: 4.65 225 Rep: 31 Broad: 9’9 Vertical: 36 5 10 5:4.48.
During his pro career, he has played in the United Football League for the Omaha Nighthawks. In May, he was signed by the Omaha Beef. Prior to playing for the Nighthawks, Wilson played for the Tulsa Talons Arena Football League team. He also played in the United National Gridiron League, where he made the draft board. In 2009, he worked out and participated in developmental training for the Arizona Cardinals. As B Will continues to grow and push towards greatness, the dream that some will try to kill, and others have already slept on, is second nature to this beast … and the hunger he has is just getting started!