Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Greg Wilson, from salesman to Super man
By Kieran Darcy
NEWARK, N.J. -- Meet Greg Wilson, the most unlikely player at Super Bowl XLVIII.
Two weeks ago, he was a salesman with a solar power company. Today, he’s a member of the AFC champion Denver Broncos.
It’s one heck of a homecoming for the 23-year-old, who played his final two seasons of college football at nearby Fordham University.
Media day isn't as glamorous for practice-squad players like Broncos WR Greg Wilson, center.
"It’s been a blessing. It’s been crazy," Wilson said Tuesday at Super Bowl media day. "Going from a desk job and sitting at home, watching the games on the weekends to being out here and playing with the guys, it’s just been great."
A California native, Wilson transferred to Fordham from Diablo Valley Community College in 2011. He was a two-year starter for the Division I-AA Rams. His senior season he caught 41 passes for 545 yards and four touchdowns.
Undrafted this past spring, Wilson was invited to a San Francisco 49ers rookie minicamp but ultimately didn’t make the team.
He got a part-time job at Sunrun, which provides residential solar electricity, in San Francisco, but he continued to stay in shape, not giving up on his NFL dream. In November, the Broncos brought him in for a workout but did not sign him. Then, Wilson's phone rang Wednesday morning, Jan. 15 -- five days before the AFC Championship Game.
"My agent called me, [and] said the Broncos want to sign you to the practice squad," Wilson said. "I stood up from my job, said, 'Hey, I’m outta here,' left, went home, packed a bag and flew out that night."
Wilson admitted being a little nervous upon his arrival in Denver, but he was quickly put at ease. "The whole locker room is very welcoming," Wilson said. "It was definitely a little intimidating meeting a guy like Peyton [Manning] at first. But at the end of the day, he’s another teammate, and he’s a good guy."
Being a practice-squad player, Wilson doesn’t get to work with Manning, but he is playing an important role this week, acting as one of the Seattle Seahawks’ receivers on the scout team.
Wilson won’t get to play in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium, but he did get to participate in media day at the Prudential Center -- even if it was hard to find him, standing behind several teammates who seemed more eager to attract attention.
Wilson seemed satisfied just taking it all in and will have lots of stories to share with his family and friends. "They’re all so happy for me," Wilson said. "They know how hard I’ve worked and how bad I want it, so for them to see me get the opportunity, I think they’re all thrilled."
There are no guarantees Wilson’s time with the Broncos, or in the NFL, will extend beyond Sunday. His size -- 6-foot, 180 pounds -- won't do him any favors. But whatever happens next, no one can take away this experience.
"I’m just working to give the defense a good look," Wilson said. "If that leads to a contract in the future, that’s great. But right now, my focus is just on getting this defense prepared for Seattle."
He's been a Bronco for less than two weeks but sounds like a team player.