Wilson enjoying East Carolina’s success

Published 10:01 pm Wednesday, September 10, 2008

By Staff
By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — C.J. Wilson has a gift for taking down quarterbacks, and an outgoing personality that allows him to talk to anybody, any time.
Wilson, a 6-4, 271-pound junior defensive end for the East Carolina Pirates, will get his chance to talk about sacking quarterbacks and about his team’s success during a live chat today on ESPN.com. The chat will begin at 1:30 p.m.
The former Northside High School star, who will spend 15 to 20 minutes answering questions from fans, is excited to be on the program.
One question Wilson will undoubtedly be asked is his feeling as to the Pirates being ranked No. 14 in the nation. It’s the first time ECU has appeared in the national rankings since 1999. The Pirates (2-0) earned the honor after beating then-No. 17 Virginia Tech, 27-22, in the season opener and following that up with Saturday’s 24-3 victory over No. 8 West Virginia.
Wilson is still basking in arguably the team’s biggest win in school history.
The defense allowed just 243 yards total offense to the Hokies, and 251 to the Mountaineers. Wilson isn’t surprised about the team’s success.
Wilson, who led the Pirates in sacks the previous two seasons (seven in 2007 and four in 2006), recorded his first sack of the season in Saturday’s win over the Mountaineers. The speedy, bulky junior was credited with 1.5 sacks in the game.
Wilson said it was especially gratifying to record sacks against West Virginia’s quarterback, Heisman-hopeful Pat White.
Wilson played in some big rivalries in high school, including the annual Anchor Bowl bash between Northside and Southside. However, he said those battles don’t compare to the intensity of last Saturday’s game.
Through two games, Wilson has recorded eight tackles, including the 1.5 sacks and two tackles-for-loss totaling 10 yards.
Wilson’s play has certainly caught the attention of his opponents, including Tulane quarterback Kevin Moore. The Pirates open Conference USA play at Tulane on Saturday in a 3 p.m. kickoff.
While Wilson, voted a C-USA Preseason First Teamer, is pleased about the success he and the Pirates are enjoying, they won’t let it become a distraction.
Wilson is thrilled that the Pirates were able to knock off the Hokies and Mountaineers in the past two weeks. ECU will look to keep that momentum going in the conference opener this weekend.
The Pirates were underdogs in those first two weeks. Now, they find themselves as top dogs.