Virginia Tech junior running back David Wilson is among the nation's more explosive runners. At 5-10, 205 pounds Wilson has reportedly been timed in the 4.3s. The speed, elusiveness and determination that made Wilson NFLDraftScout.com's No. 4 rated running back for the 2012 draft was on display Thursday night against Georgia Tech as he rushed for a career high 177 yards. Thursday's effort was Wilson's seventh consecutive 100-yard rushing game.
With such an impressive track record, Georgia Tech knew heading into the key ACC showdown knowing precisely who they had to focus on to stop the Virginia Tech offense. Early in the game, the Yellow Jackets looked up to the task, repeatedly beating the Hokies' offensive line with quick penetration to corral Wilson at or behind the line of scrimmage.
Wilson was often able to make the first defender miss Thursday evening due to his impressive lateral agility and explosiveness. When given a lane, Wilson burst through the line of scrimmage quickly, gaining yardage in chunks. Like most speedsters, Wilson prefers to cut towards the sidelines, but he demonstrated the toughness and vision to cut back into the middle, as well.
Unfortunately, Wilson also proved that he has plenty to work on in perfecting his craft, not the least of which was poor ball handling technique that led to a fumble in the mid-third quarter.
Wilson had the ball punched out with the Hokies driving into the redzone. The play was the eighth in a series that began on their own 12-yard line and ended with nothing to show for it at the Georgia Tech 16. The Yellow Jackets recovered and scored, taking their last lead before the Hokies pulled away in the final stanza.
Wilson nearly had the ball ripped away earlier in the quarter, but a quick snap by Virginia Tech on the next play didn't give head coach Paul Johnson and Georgia Tech much time to view the replay.
In each case, Wilson simply allowed the ball to get too far away from his body.
The ball security issue would appear to be one that is correctable through coaching. What makes Wilson unique is that he possesses the natural explosiveness that no amount of coaching can provide.