Tavon Wilson lands at Gillette Stadium


Tavon Wilson lands at Gillette Stadium

FOXBORO -- When a player gets drafted to the NFL, teams like the Patriots have its PR people find and distribute bios and supplemental information to reporters within minutes. George "Jake" Bequette, New England's pick at No. 90, was hand-delivered in five stapled pages featuring an overview, career notes, season-by-season summaries (including high school), and personal information.

The book on defensive end Tavon Wilson? His player page, one front-and-back, printed from FightingIllini.com.

His presence at Gillette Stadium Saturday afternoon filled in a few blanks.

"It's been crazy, but it's been everything I could ever want," Wilson told the crowd of media. "What a great organization. I got out here this morning and met the coaches and am just getting to know people within the organization."

The 6-0, 205-pound back stood on the stadium turf in a gray sweatshirt stamped BOSTON across the front. Yes, it was an airport purchase. He flew in from D.C. -- topsiders betraying the urgency -- and needed to arm himself against the May chill.

But don't worry, Wilson can handle Foxborough.

"Champagne, Illinois where we play is pretty cold," he laughed.

The sparse biography at least testifies to that much. Wilson was an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection by the coaches. A team captain his senior year, he started all 13 games for the Illini, and finished third on the team with 81 tackles. That year he played 12 games at cornerback where in 2010, Wilson started all 13 at safety.

He touts the move, among other things.

"Hard worker. Versatile player. Smart," Wilson said of himself. "Those are things I take pride in. I feel like I fly around the field. All those things I take pride in.

"We played a lot of good out-of-conference games at Illinois. The Big Ten had a lot of bigger receivers and out of conference had a lot of small, faster guys so I pretty much played all types of receivers."

Don't forget special teams. That's the work that will get a rookie like Wilson on the roster, and it sounds like he knows it.

"I love to play special teams as part of the game; I played special teams in college and loved to do it and I'm going to do it here, too. I played kickoff, I was a holdup guy on punt, I was a gunner on punt teams, so I pretty much played all of those.

"The more you can do the better you're going to be," he said, sounding the part of a Patriot already. "So I'm just going to come in, play special teams, be the best at whatever position they play me as."