ECU’s Wilson already hungry for next season

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, January 20, 2009

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — C.J. Wilson could have entered this year’s NFL Draft, but the East Carolina defensive end entertained that thought just briefly.
The 6-4, 270-pound junior decided to return to the Pirates for his senior season.
Wilson had a solid junior campaign with the Pirates, helping lead the team to a Conference USA championship and into the Liberty Bowl. He led the Pirates with 10.5 sacks (for 61 yards in loss) and 18.5 tackles-for-loss (for 84 yards). Wilson also recorded 70 tackles, five quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and one blocked kick.
Wilson racked up a number of honors in the postseason. He was named the C-USA Defensive Most Valuable Player by Sporting News Magazine. Wilson also earned C-USA First Team honors by league coaches and by Phil Steele Magazine.
Additionally, Wilson was named to the 2008 All C-USA First Team at defensive end. He was listed as the conference’s 12th best player, regardless of position, and was the fourth overall defensive player on the list.
At the team’s annual banquet, Wilson earned inclusion into the Victors Club, which goes to those players who meet position-specific grades and tasks each week. He also earned the Janet Overton Decal Award as the defensive lineman who collected the most helmet decals (52) throughout the course of the season.
His stellar play helped the Pirates (9-5) finish with one of their best records in school history.
While Wilson was disappointed the Pirates lost to Kentucky, 25-19, in the Liberty Bowl, he said that didn’t tarnish a great season.
Wilson is hoping for bigger and better things next year.
That could apply to Wilson himself.
The affable Wilson, who has 21.5 sacks, 35 tackles-for-loss, 21 quarterback hurries and 133.5 tackles in his career, is hoping to go high in next year’s draft.