Dedication pays off for Wilson

At the beginning of the year, when most schools were putting the finishing touches on their 2004 classes, few gave Daytona Beach tailback Vince Wilson much chance of qualifying academically at the Division I level. But apparently that has changed, and now North Carolina has its eyes set on the possibility of landing another late commitment.

At the end of January, The Insiders' Allen Wallace said Wilson "has seen his stock drop dramatically since the season. The problem is Vince doesn't have a qualifying score yet, scaring away most of the major programs."

However, it is believed now that Wilson has made his qualifying test score, according to Mainland coach John Maronto.

"It is a real testament to a kid that studied seven or eight hours a day to try and realize his dream of playing college football," Maronto told Inside Carolina via a telephone interview Monday night. "He is class player and a class kid."

Rumors were swirling that Wilson may have already committed to North Carolina, but Maronto refuted that claim.

"He has not committed anywhere yet," he said. "He is considering North Carolina. I would rather not say if there are any other schools that Vince is considering out of respect for the class job the North Carolina staff has done. They are first rate people. We will just have to wait and see how this thing plays out."

"He has not made a decision yet, but he may make one soon," said Lilly Wiggins, Wilson's grandmother. "He is up at North Carolina today and tomorrow. It is his official visit there, and he may make a decision when he gets back from his visit."

Wilson, who at one time held several offers, is looking just for one opportunity to play at the top level of collegiate football.

"I believe North Carolina has offered him a scholarship, but we will have to see what happens this week."

Wilson was chosen first team all-state by TheInsiders' Floridakids.

"He is one of the best backs in the country, he may be the best," Maronto said.

Miller Safrit contributed to this report.

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