Wilson ready to take on waves, All-American

Published 6:14 pm Monday, December 17, 2007

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — Whether its waves or a mini-mountain, C.J. Wilson is ready to take on all challengers.
The East Carolina sophomore defensive end, who flew to Hawaii with his teammates today in preparation for Sunday’s Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, is ready for the experience of a lifetime. The Pirates (7-5) will battle the No. 24 Boise State Broncos (10-2) at Aloha Stadium.
After battling waves in his free time, Wilson will face a mountain of a task in battling All-American left tackle Ryan Clady during the bowl game.
For Wilson, a former standout at Northside High School, its his second bowl game in as many years.
The Pirates went to three consecutive bowl games from 1999 to 2001. ECU’s last bowl victory came during that streak, a 40-27 win over Texas Tech in the 2000 galleryfurniture.com Bowl. ECU lost 28-14 to TCU in the 1999 Mobile Bowl and 64-61 in double-overtime to Marshall in the 2001 GMAC Bowl.
Wilson was on last year’s ECU team that fell 24-7 to South Florida in the PapaJohns.com Bowl. He’s looking for a better ending this time out.
Wilson and the Pirate defense will have to contend with a Boise State team that averages 42.8 points and over 475 yards of offense per game. The Broncos utilize their skill players, run multiple formations and they‘re not afraid to mix in a trick play or two.
Not making things any easier, the 6-4, 269-pound Wilson will line up opposite the 6-6, 317-pound Clady. The Boise State left tackle has been heavily decorated this postseason. Clady has been named first-team All-America by the American Coaches Football Association (AFCA) and the Sporting News, second-team All-America by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and SI.com and third-team All-America by Rivals.com. Clady was also named Boise State’s co-offensive lineman of the year and was voted to the first-team All-Western Athletic Conference squad.
Before Wilson squares off against the All-American left tackle, he’ll put his game-face on to tackle the waves when he tries his luck at surfing.
Well, maybe he’ll try it.
Wilson and his teammates will also get to enjoy a luau, pay a visit to the Pearl Harbor exhibit, spend time at a water park and enjoy some sight-seeing.
Of course, beating Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl would be the topper.