The Wolfpacker

Sept./Oct. 2021

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 47 of 51

48 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY TIM PEELER D on Wilson's career wasn't so much football as it was pinball. He bounced around a little bit of everywhere, starting from his hometown of Washington, D.C. In April, however, the former two-year starting strong safety for NC State football (1982-83) landed in a place of permanence when he became the second former Wolf- pack player elected to the Canadian Foot- ball Hall of Fame. A member of four CFL Grey Cup cham- pionship teams, Wilson had perhaps the most successful career north of the border of any of the long line of Wolfpack alumni who played in the CFL, from star running backs Alex Webster and Willie Burden to quarter- backs Erik Kramer and Johnny Evans. When the CFL Class of 2021 is en- shrined in November during Grey Cup Week, Wilson will join the late Burden, who was elected to the CFL Hall of Fame in 2001. Wilson spent 12 years in the Canadian league, from 1987-98. He mostly went back and forth between the Edmonton Eskimos and Toronto Argonauts but also spent a year with the British Columbia Lions. His accomplishments include 61 career interceptions (fifth in CFL history), 667 de- fensive tackles (11th) and more than 1,046 yards in interception returns (fourth). He scored five touchdowns via pickoffs and three on fumble returns, and those eight defensive touchdowns are tied for third all time. Wilson called his selection to the hall "diamond icing on the cake" for a career that was nearly derailed multiple times. After a stellar career at Cardozo High School in Washington's Columbia Heights, he enrolled at Ellsworth (Iowa) Commu- nity College, where he was an All-America selection. Wilson was recruited by head coach Monte Kiffin's defensive coordina- tor and secondary coach, Pete Carroll, to play for two years at NC State. He won the PACK PAST Don Wilson To Be Enshrined In The Canadian Football Hall Of Fame Wilson won four Grey Cups during his 12-year career in the CFL and finished among the league's all-time top five in defensive touchdowns (eight, tied for third), interceptions (61, fifth) and interception return yards (1,046, fourth). PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE ATHLETICS " I was just enjoying what I was doing. I love the game. " Wilson

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