Former Wichita South standout Kyle Wilson gets NFL shot with Philadelphia Eagles

Kyle Wilson celebrates after making a tackle for Arkansas State (Courtesy Photo)
Kyle Wilson celebrates after making a tackle for Arkansas State (Courtesy Photo)

Kyle Wilson has always felt overlooked.

Whether he was playing football at Wichita South High School, Hutchinson Community College or Arkansas State, the linebacker took the field for every game with something to prove.

"I have never been a huge name," Wilson said Wednesday in a phone interview. "Didn't have any scholarship offers coming out of high school and was forced to go to junior college. Only had three offers leaving there. I have always played with a chip on my shoulder."

The Philadelphia Eagles recently validated that mindset when they invited Wilson to try out for the team at their annual rookie camp.

Wilson will get a shot at the NFL after a strong two-year run at Arkansas State, where he made 173 tackles, including 26 1/2 for loss, grabbed an interception and forced a fumble while helping the Red Wolves win 15 games and play in two bowls.

"It's definitely an exciting opportunity," Wilson said. "I went into the draft without any expectations, just hoping to get an opportunity. I had talked to the Eagles a few times, so I knew they were interested. I am just blessed they gave me an invite. It means the world to me."

Not bad for an undersized defender who remembers "only winning two games" during his final two seasons at South.

It's been an uphill journey for Wilson to reach the point. At 5-foot-10 and 230 pounds, he has always been small for his position and he has never played in front of huge crowds.

But he found "a great fit" at Arkansas State and took advantage.

His team never won much in high school, but he helped Hutchinson win 11 games and claim a Jayhawk Conference title in 2014. Later, he joined Arkansas State and helped the Red Wolves beat Central Florida 31-13 in the Cure Bowl.

"That was my best college football memory," Wilson said.

Now, he gets a shot to make memories at the next level. He's excited about the opportunity, but he's still got something to prove.

"I feel like my game can translate pretty well to the NFL," Wilson said. "I can make plays at linebacker and on special teams. I have a good football IQ and called all the plays for my defense at Arkansas State. I just want to keep proving people wrong."