Haltom defensive end Reggie Wilson has come a long way from the Ivory Coast -- a volatile nation on the west coast of Africa.
When he was 11 years old, Wilson and his family left for the United States. Now, as a 6 foot 4, 240-pound man-child, Wilson will soon be leaving home again to go star for some lucky school on the college football field after he completes his senior year at Haltom and graduates in December.
Many college recruits of Wilson's pedigree have been playing football throughout life, but not Wilson, which makes his story even more amazing. He started playing football -- or what he thought was futbol (soccer) -- as a seventh grader and nearly got in a brawl when a teammate tackled him in practice before a coach explained that it was part of the game, as he told Trae Thompson of the Star-Telegram.
It didn't take long for Wilson to catch on.
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As a sophomore at Haltom, he recorded 80 tackles and six sacks, including 13 tackles for loss. Last season, he upped those numbers to 58 tackles, 12 for loss, nine sacks, 10 quarterback hurries and a forced fumble, enough to land him on the Rivals.com Top 250, which is a list of the top 250 players in the country regardless of position. He's also listed as the No. 1 defensive line recruit in the Class of 2010 out of the DFW area according to a list by The Dallas Morning News' Greg Riddle and Rivals.com's Barton Simmons.
There's no telling where Wilson will end up at this time next year after he's a high school graduate, but one thing's for certain barring a catastrophe, he'll be going to college for free, something he probably never would have done in his home country. He has offers from all the big dogs on the recruiting scene: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and TCU.
Adam Boedeker is a sports writer/blogger for the Denton Record-Chronicle. He loves tableside guacamole.