Coming into preseason practice, Virginia Tech sophomore running back David Wilson was expected to be redshirted. It seemed like an obvious decision, given that most of the carries in 2010 would likely be distributed between Ryan Williams and Darren Evans.
But Wilson stated it was his goal to make that decision a tough one for Frank Beamer, Bryan Stinespring and Billy Hite and so far he's done that by turning heads in the Hokies' practices and first preseason scrimmage. Saturday, he made the decision of whether or not to redshirt him even harder by running for 38 yards on six carries, including a 12-yard touchdown.
We knew from his experience last season that Wilson is fast. And from the videos of the scrimmages and various practice reports, it appears his decision making has become better and quicker when in the backfield. It's obvious to everyone around the program that his future is very bright. But the question remains, what should be done with Wilson this year?
Wilson backed up Ryan Williams last year as a true freshman and also got experience in the return game. Most of his carries came in garbage time, but it appears he learned from that experience and has become more of a running back and not just a guy carrying the ball. Still, as long as Williams and Evans stay healthy, Wilson probably isn't going to get more than five carries per game, which I think would be a waste. Redshirting him will allow him to possibly take over as Tech's primary running back next year, assuming Ryan Williams leaves early for the NFL.
Play Him at RB
The way Wilson has played in the preseason probably would have earned him significant carries at any school in the country except maybe Alabama. Those who want Wilson to play probably think so because he's earned it and because his speed could be a valuable weapon for the Hokies. I mean, if you're going to make a run at the national championship with a four-year starter at quarterback, you might as well use every bullet you've got, right?
Play Him at Flanker
Again, at most schools, Wilson could just be moved to wide receiver for this season and used in ways that take advantage of his speed. Unfortunately, the Hokies already have three flankers who will probably contribute significantly this season: Danny Coale, Dyrell Roberts and Marcus Davis. There really isn't room for Wilson at flanker, either. And why move him over to flanker and force him to learn another position when his future is at running back, even if it is for one season? Even if he redshirts and is used solely on the scout team, he's still going to build his skills at RB.
Play Him Only as a Kick Returner
This would be really stupid.
So what's your vote? What do you think we should do with Wilson this year? It seems we were having the same argument about Logan Thomas last year and in the end redshirting won out. I think Wilson should be redshirted and used only if there's an emergency. But my vote counts the same as yours, even in our poll.