Some of the top players in college football have weighed the decision: Should they opt out due to the threat of COVID-19?
Each player has his own reasoning for coming to a conclusion. Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson said he didn’t contemplate the thought of skipping the 2020 season.
“I didn’t come back to sit out and opt out and go prepare for the league,” Wilson said in a videoconference with the media on Thursday, a day before FSU begins preseason practices. “That’s just taking the easy way out. I have work here to do in Tallahassee.”
Wilson has already done work. He had 44 tackles and five sacks in nine games before injuring his hand in a loss to Miami. Defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins was stunned when Wilson told him he was coming back for a senior season, but it is clear Wilson has plenty more he wants to achieve.
In the offseason, he has been an outspoken advocate for helping youth in the community. Wilson and a large group of FSU teammates helped organize a book drive at Riley Elementary School and led a volunteer day where they helped with beautification projects at the school, which is just a few miles north of FSU’s campus.
Wilson said he has been comfortable with FSU’s protocols and the emphasis of keeping players, coaches and support staff as safe as possible. There was also a feeling, Wilson said, if he backed out on younger players that all of the time and work they had put in together would have been lost.
“I came too far not to just turn back around,” Wilson said. “I put too much work into this program. I put too much emphasis into some of these young guys’ lives. I feel like that would be a form of quitting, in my opinion, just to opt out at this last moment right before the season.”
Wilson said working out on his own or in small groups during the pandemic also reinforced his love of football and that he indeed is pursuing his desire to work hard and achieve goals in the sport. A consensus preseason All-American, Wilson thinks new defensive coordinator Adam Fuller will help showcase his versatility and athletic ability as the Seminoles return to a 4-3 front.
He has also been able to take part in FSU’s walkthrough practices, wearing a helmet with a clear visor. Wilson said “it does get a lot hotter” but he is adapting it.
“They’re a little different,” Wilson said. “But at the end of the day, whatever helps us keep safe and being able to play our sport.”