FOXBORO -- Tavon Wilson lit up as he talked about playing in Baltimore on Sunday night. For the Patriots rookie defensive back who grew up in Northeast Washington, D.C., M&T Bank Stadium is as close to home as he'll get this season -- just about a 40-mile drive for many of his family and friends.
"There's a lot of people coming out," Wilson beamed.
Among them will be his biggest fan, his grandmother Darlene Williams, who raised Wilson through a difficult childhood. His father was murdered when he was just a year old. His mother drowned at a pool party when he was 12.
With the help of his great great-grandmother Eddye Williams -- who Wilson said is still moving around pretty well at the incredible age of 112 -- Darlene took care of Wilson and his sister, steering them in the right direction by emphasizing the importance of hard work.
"That's something they always instilled in me," Wilson said. "Keep your head low and keep on working hard. Never get too high or too low. Have the same attitude, a working attitude, and that's just how I've approached everything."
Williams continues to have an impact on Wilson's life, encouraging him to do his best at his new job. She's learned to text and the two swap messages almost everyday throughout the course of the day.
Including preseason games, this will be the fourth time Williams has had a chance to see Wilson in his Patriots uniform. For everyone else coming to see the H.D. Woodson High School product, they'll see a player who's already made an impact in the NFL.
Wilson had four tackles and an interception against the Titans in Week 1. In Week 2, he didn't get in the box score, but he continued to see playing time in the Patriots secondary in sub-packages.
He won't have a chance to get back to D.C. during the weekend -- "I'm working," he said -- but he hopes he can give his supporters something to cheer on Sunday night.
"I'm definitely excited just to play in this type of atmosphere," he said. "It's gonna be an exciting atmosphere to play in, something you always dream of. It's the reason why you play the game."