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A no-name with a big reputation
William F. Reed
November 26, 1979
Louisville Linebacker Otis Wilson is all but unknown—except to the pro scouts
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November 26, 1979

A No-name With A Big Reputation

Louisville Linebacker Otis Wilson is all but unknown—except to the pro scouts

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Wilson and Gibson agree that he has made even greater strides as a person than as a player. After this semester, he will need only 19 hours for a degree in communications, and, says Wilson, "I'm not going to leave here until I get it." That kind of talk makes Gibson almost as happy as a quarterback sack.

"I've really enjoyed coaching him, and three years ago I didn't think I'd be able to say that," Gibson says. "He's really wanted to improve himself. He had bad study habits when he got here, but now he takes pride in going to class. Instead of sitting in the back row, he sits in the front."

Going into this season, Wilson had a chance to become Louisville's alltime leading tackier. He had 332, and the record is 495 by Doug Buffone, now with the Chicago Bears. But after nine games, Wilson had made only 117 more, putting the record just out of his reach. It's not that he's played poorly. He missed the Drake game and half the Florida State game because of a shoulder injury suffered against Cincinnati. He also has been asked to blitz more this season, and, says Wilson, "You can't get a lot of tackles when you blitz so much."

The pro scouts don't pay as much mind to his statistics as to his potential. "It's like being recruited again," Wilson says. "All these agents call me from all over the country and say, 'I'll get you this and I'll get you that.' I say, 'I'm interested in you, but right now that's the last thing on my mind. If I don't do my job here, there won't be any sense in you coming around.' I'll be looking for someone to represent me after the season."

If Wilson gets his wish and is drafted by the Cowboys, the big question will be whether Dallas is big enough to accommodate both him and Hollywood Henderson. Wilson smiles at the prospect. "He can be the talker," he says, "but I'll be the hitter."

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