Just the other day, Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley decided to forego the 2020 college football season, instead taking the time to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft amid concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Yesterday, Miami defensive end Greg Rousseau followed Farley. These are big losses for their respective teams, as each player was named a Preseason SI All-ACC Selection by those of us running ACC sites for Sports Illustrated.
Another player to have earned that honor: Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson. So naturally, there were thoughts that another talent with first-round potential like Wilson could follow suit. But if he's shown anything during his time in Tallahassee, it's that he's much more a leader than a follower. Certainly there's nothing wrong with Farley and Rousseau sitting out to safeguard their futures, but Wilson's focus is on what's right in front of him: "Really, I haven't been looking at anyone else outside of here in Tallahassee," he said during media availability on Thursday.
Specifically, that means the program he's helping to rebuild: "I'm trying to focus on here, what we've got going on with the Seminole brand, and moving forward. As far as opting out and different things like that, I didn't come back to sit out, to opt out and just go prepare for the League. I think that's taking the easy way out."
And of course, the FSU program is composed of individual players, Wilson's teammates, and he's simply not ready to turn his back on them: "I've put too much work into this program. I've put too much emphasis into some of these young guys, and I kinda feel like that would be a form of quitting, in my opinion, just to opt out at this last moment, right before the season, when we worked so hard together this offseason."
It all comes full circle for Wilson: sticking around was about teammates and program-- "I though that would be disrespectful to them. I'm showing them how to be a true 'Nole."