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Niles: Former UM cornerback overcomes all odds



Former embattled Grizzly Wilson in a bright spot in Miami

By Brandon Niles Sports Writer

There hasn’t been much to cheer about for the Miami Dolphins this season, a team that looks disenfranchised and will surely be looking for a new coach and a new start at the end of the season.

A bright spot on the team has been the surprising play of rookie Jimmy Wilson, a cornerback from Montana, chosen in the last round of this year’s NFL draft.

Big plays have come at a premium for the Dolphins this year, and Wilson is one of the players able to make things happen on the field. He had an interception against the Cleveland Browns in the third game of the season, and he has four passes batted down this year, including a big one against the Giants last week, his first NFL start.

While Wilson has made mistakes and has a lot of developing to do before he becomes a top level NFL player, he’s shown fire on the field and he’s proven that he has the athleticism required to become a productive playmaker in the league.

His first start against the Giants wasn’t a perfect outing, but he filled in admirably for the injured Vontae Davis, and the Dolphins can only hope he continues to learn and develop into a regular starter.

Wilson has had to overcome a lot of adversity on his way to the NFL.

He started 12 games in his first two years as a Montana Grizzly before starting every game in 2006 and playing well enough to earn second team All-Big Sky Conference honors. Prior to the start of his senior season, he was involved in a domestic altercation that left one man dead.

He was incarcerated for 25 months on murder charges during a long trial in Los Angeles. After the first trial resulted in a hung jury in which eleven out of twelve jurors voted for acquittal, a second jury acquitted him unanimously of all charges.

Wilson was then fought for and won an extra year of NCAA eligibility and returned to the Grizzlies to finish his college career.

After the 2010 season, many teams were hesitant to give him a chance, but the Dolphins took him in the seventh and final round of the draft.

After being drafted, Wilson impressed coaches with his determination and talent throughout the pre-season and he’s continued to impress in the regular season. If he continues to develop and show the kind of passion for the game that he has thus far, his future in the NFL will be promising. As he attempts to reach that potential, his story of redemption will continue to be a journey worth following and his legacy as a Grizzly will always provide a unique perspective of a young man’s path toward fulfilling his ultimate dream.

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