If someone walks up to you and says the name Martez Wilson, you will likely have one of two reactions.
If you’re a Saints fan or Illinois alum, you likely recognize him as a linebacker who went in the third round of the 2011 Draft. If not, you probably aren’t too familiar with him at all since Wilson’s rookie year was spent mostly as an anonymous special teamer and backup. If Wilson has his way, his name will be on the tip of everyone’s tongue before his career is over.
“I see myself being a Hall of Famer one day,” Wilson said, via SportsNOLA.com.
Now for a little context. Wilson is moving from linebacker to defensive end, a position he hasn’t played since high school, this offseason and was answering a question about how he’s growing into the new position. He said the Hall of Fame thing as a way of illustrating how much better he believes he will become, which would seem to be something every player should have in mind entering the second season of his career.
The Saints think Wilson can provide pass rush help from that spot while also fulfilling coverage responsibilities that Steve Spagnuolo has added to the defense. The move began this spring and everyone feels good enough about the way it went to continue the experiment during training camp.
Wilson will need to master the new position this summer to earn significant playing time, the first of many prerequisites before he should be buying any non-refundable airplane tickets to Canton.