- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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Call up the folks in Canton, Ohio. David Wilson is on his way.
The New York Giants' first-round pick, who has rushed for just 87 yards on 15 carries in six games this season, told Newsday on Thursday he believes he will be a Hall of Fame player. So far, the speedster has made more of a name for himself as a kickoff returner and for a costly fumble than for his production as a running back.
"I think at the end of my career, I'll be in the Hall of Fame," Wilson told Newsday. "I know myself, and I know (when) I have guys around me that feel the same way, which I feel I do. When I get my opportunity, the sky is not the limit. I think it's past that. You have to believe in yourself to do good things. This is how I feel."
Despite having starter Ahmad Bradshaw returning this year, the Giants selected Wilson with the 32nd pick in April, loving his athleticism and playmaking ability. Coming into the year, the running back set lofty season goals for himself, including scoring 10 touchdowns, not fumbling, and having six 100-yard games.
In his first game, though, Wilson quickly earned himself a spot in coach Tom Coughlin's doghouse. With the Giants driving in Dallas territory, he fumbled his second handoff. He didn't touch the ball the rest of the game and had just five touches in the next three games. It was also questioned during the Dallas game as to whether the rookie was crying on the sideline after his turnover.
While he's not completely out of the doghouse, Wilson has impressed his coaches and teammates the past few weeks as he has established himself as a fantastic kickoff returner, breaking off huge chunks of yardage and helping the Giants to great field position. In last week's win against the 49ers, his 66-yard return to start the second half led to an important scoring drive. He's averaging 28.4 yards per return on 19 attempts.
In the last two weeks, as fellow running back Andre Brown has battled a concussion, Wilson has rushed a combined nine times for 77 yards and a touchdown. He had two carries for 44 yards and a score against Cleveland, and followed that up with seven carries for 35 yards against the 49ers last weekend, the highest carries total of his career. For the season, he has 15 carries for 87 yards and has one catch for 4 yards.
While Wilson hasn't been producing at a Hall of Fame pace to start his career, the rookie is unwavering in his belief that he can get the job done, and he believes the team should hold that same view.
"I'm like birth control. You have to believe in me," Wilson told Newsday. "Like birth control, 99.9 percent of the time I'm going to come through for you.
"I never know when that opportunity is coming, and that's why you have to stay prepared. But when I do get that opportunity, I'm going to get lost in the moment and keep it going. Once I get my chance to go out there and play football and do what I do, I'm not going to want to let go of that."
David Wilson told Newsday on Thursday he believes he will be a Hall of Fame player. So far, the speedster has made more of a name for himself as a kickoff returner and for costly fumbles than his production as a running back.