Tavon Wilson enjoyed a tremendous career at Illinois. He was the team's best defensive back the past two years, and he was also a trustworthy leader. The recent Illini Pro Timing Day was his best shot at impressing professional scouts, and he took advantage of his opportunity.
"It's been exciting. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go through this process, so you've got to take full advantage of it."
The 6'-0", 205 pounder enjoyed impressive results on the various tests. He ran a 4.5 forty yard dash, had a 32" vertical leap and 10'-4" standing broad jump, and he did 17 bench presses of 225 pounds. He was also impressive on two different cone drills. Wilson was especially pleased with his dash time.
"I ran the 40 in 4.5. So that's better than most of the people have done."
He was also able to demonstrate his fundamental skills for secondary work. He has played cornerback, safety and nickel at Illinois, allowing him to prove his versatility.
"People are talking about a little bit of both safety and nickel. So I'm excited about that; I'd be doing the same things I did in college. It depends on what team I'm going to."
Wilson was disappointed not to be invited to the NFL combine. But he believes he opened eyes when he had a chance.
"The whole process was great for me. I didn't get invited to the combine, but life goes on. A lot of scouts thought I should have been there. I came out here today and did a pretty good job. I'll talk to my agent and see where we go from here."
He received abundant positive feedback after his performance.
"A lot of teams are talking to me, so I've just got to keep on working and see what happens. Pretty much all the teams talk to me, so I'm excited about that."
Missing the combine may have been a blessing in disguise.
"Yeah, I kind of have a chip on my shoulder. I felt like I should've been there, but I felt I did great today. I answered a lot of people's questions today."
The Washington D.C. product has been working out, both on campus and near his home.
"I work out about an hour away from my house. I'll stay here for a couple weeks to work out and then go back home before the draft."
Wilson was hardly recognizable at the Pro Timing Day. After several years wearing long hair, he shaved it all off.
"I just feel like football is my job now. You've got to approach it that way. I had it a long time, but I had to go out and get a job someday. You kind of get tired of those things."