Tuesday January 3rd, 2017

University of Florida junior defensive back Quincy Wilson told SI.com on Tuesday that he will declare for the NFL draft. Wilson earned second-team All-SEC honors this year, snaring three interceptions and breaking up six passes. 

Wilson, 6’ 1", 213 pounds, is considered a high-end prospect with a chance to end up in the first round. He’s leaving Florida after three seasons, part of a run of top-flight defensive backs that’s included Vernon Hargreaves, Keanu Neal and two-time All-SEC corner Jalen Tabor. Wilson concluded his career with two tackles in Florida’s 30–3 Outback Bowl blowout of Iowa. 

“I feel like it’s in my best interest to declare for the NFL draft this year,” Wilson told Sports Illustrated on Tuesday. “I’m definitely excited. It’s something I dreamed about since I was five or six years old, to play in the NFL.”

Wilson’s strong junior year has some draft analysts, including at SI.com, projecting him as the top cornerback taken in a loaded field. The cornerback crop will likely include Iowa’s Desmond King, Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore, Washington’s Sidney Jones, Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey and Tabor. One of Wilson’s advantages is that he’s bigger than that group, as he projects as the type of rugged, physical corner that have become vogue in the NFL the past few years. 

“I think Florida did the best job they could to prepare me for this moment,” Wilson said. “I came to play with the best defensive backs and become a great defensive back. They’ve done everything they could to help build me into the football player I am today.”

Wilson credits current UF defensive coach back coach Torrian Gray and associate head coach Randy Shannon for his development. He also credits his former position coaches, ex-Gator assistants Kirk Callahan and Travaris Robinson. “I’ll miss everything about Florida,” he said. “My three years here have been unforgettable and great. I’m going to miss going out and seeing my teammates every single day.” 

Quincy is the son of Chad Wilson, a former second-team All Big East defensive back under Dennis Erickson at the University of Miami. Florida fans disappointed about Quincy Wilson’s departure can take solace that his younger brother, Marco, will enroll at Florida and has accepted a scholarship at defensive back. Marco Wilson chose the Gators over offers from blue blood programs like USC, Ohio State and Alabama. He’s a four-star prospect that Scout.com considers one of the country’s Top 250 players and Top 25 cornerbacks. Marco Wilson is 6-foot, 180 pounds and runs a 4.4 40-yard dash. He’ll attempt to compete next year for some of his brother’s reps at corner. 

“That’s been the angle that they’re playing with Quincy,” Chad Wilson said. “Come back and play another year with your brother. It sounds good. The truth of the matter is that his younger bother is fully intent on coming to UF and (competing to play). Great as it would be (for them to play together), it would prohibit some of those goals that his brother has.” 

Chad Wilson said that Marco Wilson’s recruitment went much deeper than choosing Florida because Quincy did. He complimented the job that Florida’s defensive coaches did developing his older son.  

“They have a tradition, they have a culture of defense,” he said. “Defense is important to them. They’ve always played it there. 

"The ability to survive and sustain will come down to what you have in your head. I couldn’t be more pleased than what he was able to get from Florida from that standpoint.”

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