- Terry Blount, ESPN Staff Writer
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Wilson was a 16-year-old high school sophomore at the time, attending the Peyton Manning Passing Academy.
"There were thousands of kids there," Wilson said. "I was actually in his group. It was me and 12-15 other guys."
Fast forward seven years. The two men met again.
"Through the whole draft process, the Broncos brought me out to Denver," Wilson said. "He was in the locker room, and I went up to talk to him."
Here’s how the conversation went:
Manning: "Have I seen you before somewhere? Where do I know you from?"
Wilson: "Well, you actually coached me at the Manning Passing Academy."
Manning: "Oh, yeah. Good to see you again."
Wilson was asked what he remembers about Manning at the academy.
"Just how much care and time he showed for the kids," Wilson said. "How much detail he always talked about and how much of a perfectionist he was.
"I try to use that in my game. I’ve got a long way to go, but I try to do all the little things. That’s what he does. He takes tons of notes and does all the right things. He puts his team in the right position to win football games."
Wilson is a much different type of quarterback than Manning. Wilson is a scrambler and Manning is the classic pocket passer. But Wilson said there is one area in which he wants to be just like Manning.
"I try to emulate a lot of the things he does in terms of the knowledge he has for the game," Wilson said. "He can make all the throws, but his knowledge separates him from everybody else. That’s what I’m trying to work to one day.
"I love him to death. He’s just a great person and, obviously, a great football player. I have so much respect for him."