Meet Kion Wilson, Part II

No rookie overcame more to make it to this week's training camp than Kion Wilson. After losing two family members in a year, Wilson refocused his game and became better than ever. His remarkable recovery, according to former USF assistant coach Kevin Patrick, gives him a chance to succeed.

For an exclusive interview with rookie LB Kion Wilson, click here.

Kion Wilson overcame countless obstacles en route to the NFL. It started as a youth, where he grew up in a bad neighborhood and eventually landed in a boarding school for troubled teens. The rough times followed him up to last year, when two of his brothers were shot and killed in separate incidents.

Rather than letting his hardships defeat him, Wilson used these events to find a new fire and a higher purpose in life. That is evident on the field, where he plays like a man possessed. He dedicated his senior season to his brothers and responded with 93 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and an INT.

Wilson's inspirational showing was enough to merit a contract in San Diego, where he will try to keep his dream alive. For more on his quest, we talk with Kevin Patrick, who was a defensive assistant coach during Wilson's time at South Florida.

LaShana Marshburn: What will you remember most about your time with Kion?

Kevin Patrick: No one has more dedication and effort and ability than KW. He is just a spectacular young man. Just how he dealt with things in everyday life and how he carried it onto the field, he was just a great young man. He has a great work ethic and a great heart.

LM: What is it about Kion's skill-set that makes him so special?

KP: He has great reaction time and closing speed on the ball. He was just spectacular in college. He won a number of "Hits of the Week." He's a guy that gives it everything he has every day at practice to where he makes it easier in the game. I've seen practices where he just decapitated everybody in his path. I remember around bowl season of his junior year, he was just knocking everybody out. When he gets after it, he gets after it in a vicious, violent way.

LM: What aspects of his game still need refinement?

KP: I think, overall, he's going to have to get a better understanding of the feel of the game, which will enable him to increase his rest time. He's got the ability to do that and take it to the next level. It's more of a complex game in the NFL system than it is here in college, but I think that's going to be his biggest adjustment.

LM: Could you see him playing any outside linebacker in San Diego?

KP: I believe he is destined for the middle linebacker position. I think that's where he is at his best.

LM: What can you share about Kion's off-the-field persona?

KP: If you were to draw up a son from head to toe, you would draw KW. He's the kind of guy you would want to take out your daughter. To me, you don't find too many better people in this world than KW. What he's had to go through in his life with the deaths of his two brothers and being in the tough neighborhoods, he's had to overcome a lot to be the type of person he is. He has a strong will, a great heart and unbelievable faith. I have two daughters and if I had a son, I would want it to be KW.



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