Potential and Inspiration: The David Wilson Story

David Wilson’s end zone celebration (Courtesy Yahoo Sports)

I once wrote a piece on potential. I went on and on about how potential is just a word for not having done anything yet and how most people will never reach their “potential” if they ever had it to begin with. Enter the David Wilson story.

I am blessed that I am able to walk away from this game healthy and still able to be me with no restrictions pain or struggle. Don’t be sorry or pity ME that’s just one chapter life goes on and I’m glad I can live it. Once a Giant always a #Giant #pocketrocket

-David Wilson, August 4th 2014

David Wilson was selected in the first round of the NFL draft by the New York Giants only a few short years ago. An amazing collegiate athlete, Wilson flashed breath taking speed in his short stint in the NFL. Fumble struggles had him glued to the bench, but his work ethic was never questioned, even after suffering a major injury which cost him his second pro season and ultimately led to a spinal fusion surgery. Through this he never stopped working.

After finally getting medical clearance, Wilson returned for camp only to suffer a “burner,” a major setback, which probably has ended his playing career at just 23 years of age. While most would crumble under this defeat Wilson has used this to inspire others.

He writes,

I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me, or pity me, I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too

Wilson after receiving a hand off from Eli Manning vs. the New Orleans Saints (Photo: NY Times)

In his short playing tenure Wilson demonstrated the work ethic of the Kobe Bryants and Michael Jordans of the world. Despite often finding himself in Coach Tom Coughlin’s doghouse. He kept working, and working, and working some more. This work ethic led him to finding new avenues through which he could effect the game. ZACH SCHONBRUN of the NYTimes summarizes this well. He writes, “though he struggled with fumbling, Wilson eventually became a potent three-way running/receiving/special-teams weapon for the Giants. Against the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 9, 2012, he became the first player in N.F.L. history to record 200 kick-return yards and 100 rushing yards in a single game.”

I can sit here and write David Wilson will return back to form. I can sit here and write that he will be the player which he once had the potential to be. I can sit here and write a lot of things, but what I will write is the truth. His playing career is probably over. But if he feels content with accomplishing his NFL dream regardless, then why should we feel any other way? Why look at this as the end of something rather than a new beginning? David Wilson may never reach his football potential, but he’s a young man whose future is brighter than ever. Consider this injury to be the fumbles that sent him to the doghouse, and consider his NFL records his new potential.

I once heard that when one door closes another opens, and that if we aren’t searching for that new door that opens if the old one shuts then what are we doing? For David Wilson the end of his playing days marks a new chapter, a new door for him to run through, a new world of adventure, a new world which though may  be unfamiliar will bring new success and offers him a chance to inspire a new generation, and as his Twitter handle, @4stillRunning, suggests he’ll blast right through the opening, and  through the end zone. The only thing between David Wilson and true greatness is this brief  timeout and I can’t wait to see what play he runs at the end of the huddle.



At age 8 I told my #Dad I wanted to play football in THE NFL at this point in my life I have done that. Even Blessed to be drafted in the 1st round. Broke and set RECORDS, scored Touchdowns, and all that follows. It’s a great feeling to live a out dream. Unfortunately that has been paused but I am blessed that I am able to walk away from this game healthy and still able to be me with no restrictions pain or struggle and So all I ask is please don’t be sorry or pity ME that’s just one chapter life goes on and I’m glad I can live it. Once a Giant always a #Giant #pocketrocket

-David Wilson’s full Instagram post on August 4th, 2014




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