Adrian Wilson overcame a lot of adversity growing up. Despite losing those who were close to him, he went on to have a successful NFL career.
Adrian Wilson becoming a top player in the Arizona Cardinals organization
Wilson played college football at North Carolina State University. He was a two-year starter at strong safety for NC State. In 33 games, he had a total of 254 tackles, 11 pass deflections, and three interceptions. Wilson decided to skip his senior year and enter the 2001 NFL draft. The Cardinals saw something in Wilson that they like and decided to select him in the third round of the NFL draft. In July of 2001, he signed a three-year, $1.53 million contract, which included a signing bonus of $525,000.
Before the 2001 season, Wilson was named backup strong safety behind Pat Tillman. In 16 games, Wilson 34 combined tackles, two interceptions, and he returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown. The next season he was named a starter at the strong safety position. Throughout his years in Arizona, he became one of the top defensive players on the team. During the 2005 season, he recorded eight sacks, which was the most sacks in a single season by a defensive back. The next season he made his first Pro Bowl and was a second-team All-Pro selection after finishing the season with four interceptions and 75 total tackles.
Wilson remained a starter for the Cardinals and continued to have success on the field. After making five Pro Bowl teams and three All-Pro teams, the Cardinals released Wilson in 2013 after 12 years. Wilson never played in an NFL game after that despite joining the New England Patriots and the Chicago Bears after his time in Arizona. He announced his retirement in April of 2015.
Adrian Wilson lost multiple people who were close to him
Wilson had to deal with the death of some people who were close to him due to gun violence. When Wilson was a teenager, he lost his 16-year-old brother and his friend, who were both shot and killed. Then he lost another close friend who died by suicide.
Wilson’s brother was shot five times, and he witnessed his brother bleeding to death. He experienced all of this before he came an adult, which can take a toll on a younger person. Despite dealing with those deaths, Wilson overcame that and went on to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL.
Wilson did not let what he experienced in his past determine his future. For someone who lost multiple people that he was close to, he carried himself well as he got older, and he still kept those people close to his heart.
Adrian Wilson’s career after playing in the NFL
After his playing career finished, Wilson joined the Cardinals as a regional scout in 2015. In May of 2019, he was promoted to Director of Pro Scouting for the Cardinals. Wilson had the opportunity to be a part of the team that drafted him out of college, and now he’s out looking for talented players who could possibly earn the chance to play in the NFL.
With his experience and the success that he had in the league, he knows what he’s looking for and can point out talent when he sees it. Wilson enjoys football and loves to be around the game.