NC State got a big recruiting win today with Payton Wilson announcing that he’ll be returning for one more season with the Wolfpack. Wilson made the announcement in conjunction with Inside Pack Sports.
WPN, let’s work! pic.twitter.com/kYBqoQY0RL— 11 (@payton_wilson21) December 31, 2022
Here’s part of what Wilson had to say about his decision:
It was a long process, something I’ve been honestly thinking about all year. Leading up to this year, my goal was to end up in the NFL after this season.
But after talking to my family, praying on it, and talking to coach Gibson, I think we started something here that I don’t believe is finished. We still have a lot more goals and dreams and things I want to accomplish at NC State.
Wilson was able to stay healthy for the bulk of 2022 and after his solid performance in the Mayo Bowl, finished the season with 82 tackles, 12.5 for a loss. Good numbers for someone who missed two games and the majority of a third. He had 10 tackles or more in five games, including the bowl game.
While he might be missing out on some money by making this decision, NIL has changed the decision-making process to some extent—if you don’t know if you’ll be drafted in the first three rounds, say, then you can stay in college and still make a good chunk of change, then take another shot the following year.
Wilson will of course be the leader of this defense next season and one of the team’s most recognizable stars, and I’m sure that’ll be worth pretty good money.
Anyway, it’s great to have him back in the fold to help ease the transition for a defense that will be plugging in a lot of new faces elsewhere. This is one spot we won’t have to worry about at all.