Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita restaurant is honoring a former busboy who's getting a shot at the NFL

Doo-Dah Diner owner Patrick Shibley, left, with his friend and former busboy Kyle Wilson, who is getting his shot at the NFL at the Philadelphia Eagles' rookie camp
Doo-Dah Diner owner Patrick Shibley, left, with his friend and former busboy Kyle Wilson, who is getting his shot at the NFL at the Philadelphia Eagles' rookie camp

When Kyle Wilson was a student at Wichita South High School, he was a football player who was dating the daughter of a diner owner and could put away chicken and waffles like a champ.

During summer breaks from Hutchinson Community College and then Arkansas State, where he played college ball, he'd come back and earn those chicken and waffles by working as a busboy.

Now that he's an NFL prospect, the owners of Doo-Dah Diner are celebrating their longtime friend and employee by naming his favorite dish for him.

Wilson, a 2014 South High graduate who went on to a successful career at Arkansas State, was invited to the Philadelphia Eagles' annual rookie camp, where he is now. If it goes well, he could earn a spot on the team's roster.

That's exciting not only for Wilson and his family but for his second family at Doo-Dah Diner. He's dated Maci, the daughter of owner Timirie Shibley, for more than four years and has been a fixture at the Shibley house during his visits back to Wichita.

Wilson's excited former co-workers at Doo-Dah are ready to rename the chicken and waffles in his honor now, but he wants them to wait until he's actually earned a spot on the team.

"He's very humble," Shibley said.

Wilson was a member of a South High team that won only two games during his final two seasons. He went on to play for Hutchinson Community College, and after that, he went to Arkansas State, where he made 173 tackles and helped his team win 15 games and play in two bowls.

"What is so great is he never lost sight of his dream despite coming from a high school that only won one or two games his senior year," Shibley said. "He is such an underdog — like the diner — and just kept working harder and longer and finally got a big break."

Shibley is welcoming suggestions for a clever name for the dish that honors Wilson, a linebacker who loved the diner's chicken and waffles more than any other dish.

"I take credit for much of his body mass," Shibley said.

(FILE VIDEO -- FEBRUARY 3, 2017) Actor Harrison Ford ate breakfast at Doo-Dah Diner.

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