View Full Version : Wilson shined with Vols, Broncos

Bronco Rob
04-14-2009, 07:33 AM
Unreal," Wilson said when asked about his selection into the Jackson-Madison County Sports Hall of Fame, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Carl Perkins Civic Center. "My mother called and told me, and I was very excited. I'm just an average Joe from Jackson, and I just don't think it has hit me yet."

Wilson was a hit in the NFL at linebacker where he was named All-pro twice and played in five Pro Bowls.

Now retired, Wilson, who majored in business marketing at UT where he also played linebacker, is putting his education to use.

"If I didn't do it in the classroom, there was no question I could not do it on the field," Wilson said. "Being an athlete is what you do as a job.

"As a student-athlete, you are learning to be better off after college."

Wilson, now in business in Atlanta, graduated from Jackson Central-Merry in 1994 where he rushed for 1,300 yards and scored 15 touchdowns his senior year.

Wilson was named to four high school All-American teams which included Blue Chip Illustrated, Max Emfinger, Super Prep and Tom Lemming teams.

"I could not give you an exact number of (recruiting) letters I received," Wilson said.

"But my last five choices were Tennessee, Notre Dame, Illinois, Alabama and Nebraska."

Wilson said the process was made a little easier since he was a Tennessean and fellow Vol Tyrone Hines was from Haywood.

It also didn't hurt when Vols head coach Phillip Fulmer came calling.

"He was the convincing factor for me," Wilson said. "The first day coaches could visit recruits, Coach Fulmer was picking me up and taking me to school. He was interested.

"And it's an honor to have the greatest (football) coach in UT's history as the guest speaker," Wilson said. "To have him in Jackson to speak, I'm speechless."

Wilson was a member of the first team to win the Bowl Championship Series national championship when UT defeated Florida State in Tempe, Ariz., in January 1999.

(2 of 2)

"I do look back," Wilson said about the win over the Seminoles. "When I talk to some of the guys I played with, we knew at the beginning (of 1998 season) we were pretty good.

"But no one gave us any respect."

Wilson said he and several teammates remained on campus during the summer before his senior year.

"We went 7-on-7, our own workouts, no coaches," Wilson said. "(Quarterback) Tee (Martin) ran the offense, and I ran the defense.

"I told Tee 'You lead us and we are going to ride your back,' and the defense took the pressure off. Tee told me we were going to win the national title."

Wilson was named first team All-American his senior year and was All-SEC first team (1998) and second team (1997) as UT won Conference championships both seasons.

He then got the call from Denver.

"I didn't believe it until my name was called," Wilson said. "Teams say a lot of different things and short, fast linebackers are not the norm, so teams were skeptical."

Wilson said when Denver took that chance he took the opportunity to represent Jackson and prove UT could produce great football players.

"It was an honor," Wilson said. "I wanted to be the best person and stay out of trouble and show kids this can be done."

Wilson - who is involved in the Jackson Boys and Girls Club, Greater St. Luke's Church and JCM football program - played for eight years with the Broncos.

The first-round pick recorded 580 tackles, 22 sacks and five interceptions during his career.

Wilson, who has a son, Carrington, 13, maintains a home in Denver said he always believed in his ability to play football on the professional level.

"To be acknowledged for the Pro Bowl was a great feeling," Wilson said. "I had the opportunity to reach a peak, then asked myself, 'What am I going to do to stay there?'"

"... There were guys who were always better, but being one of the elite is a priceless feeling."

Wilson had the feeling his career was in jeopardy when he suffered a neck injury injury against Seattle in 2006.

"I played a few games, but I never felt myself, never the same, and I was traded to the New York Giants," Wilson said. "I flunked the physical and I thought I was OK, but teams were scared to take a chance."

So, Wilson did what he said was best.

"I walked away," Wilson said. "It was time. God puts things in your path to see how you will deal with them and I've moved on.

"Football was great, but now it's time for the next chapter."

04-14-2009, 08:32 AM
Congratulations to one of the best...

04-14-2009, 09:07 AM
Class act as always.

04-14-2009, 09:29 AM
I sure do miss having him on the team.

Smiling Assassin27
04-14-2009, 09:32 AM
He is still missed. Congrats, Al, well deserved.

Garcia Bronco
04-14-2009, 09:43 AM
He should still be playing. We really got screwed down the Shanahan stretch.

04-14-2009, 10:19 AM
I wish we still had Wilson.

04-14-2009, 10:24 AM
Ring of Fame. NOW.

Pick Six
04-14-2009, 10:44 AM
I want a whole defensive line of Al Wilsons. His talent and attitude about the game make me proud that he was a Bronco...:thumbs:

04-14-2009, 12:03 PM
I want a whole defensive line of Al Wilsons. His talent and attitude about the game make me proud that he was a Bronco...:thumbs:

That is pretty much what I am thinking, having a large group of Al Wilsons would be awesome.

04-14-2009, 12:24 PM
Maybe you guys should reshoot 300 using 300 al wilsons

Rock Chalk
04-14-2009, 01:42 PM
Maybe you guys should reshoot 300 using 300 al wilsons

Eh. have to change the ending. Persians wouldnt have stood a chance.

04-14-2009, 01:44 PM
why did they not say his first name one time?

Bronco Rob
04-16-2009, 03:14 PM
Eh. have to change the ending. Persians wouldnt have stood a chance.


04-16-2009, 04:49 PM
Thats whats wrong with this team nowa days, I just watch a commercial with Eddy Mac in it and told my wife "we just don't have players on our team like that anymore!!"

04-16-2009, 07:34 PM
He was one of the best! I sure miss seeing him and I think the Broncos miss his leadership. They lost thier identity when he left.