Sophomore running back Shaun Wilson is a man of few words. He appears laid back and reserved. At least when he’s talking to the media.
Wilson is not quite Marshawn Lynch-like. But his answers to questions almost always are short and to the point.
“It’s all right,” Wilson said of talking to the media. “I don’t really know. I just say how I feel and go.”
The Charlotte product prefers to let his play speak for him. And it did Saturday night against N.C. Central. Wilson rushed for 57 yards on 17 carries, caught 3 passes for 102 yards, and scored two touchdowns (one in the air and one on the ground).
Whenever he broke free, it was hard for N.C. Central defenders to catch him.
His best play came in the third quarter. Quarterback Thomas Sirk threw screen pass to Wilson, who avoided a defender and took it from the line of scrimmage 89 yards, leaving defenders in his rear view mirror. The play helped push Duke out to a 41-0 lead.
“That’s something we’ve been preparing all week,” said Sirk, who finished 15-for-22 for 315 yards and three touchdowns. “Get the ball in his hands. He’s such an explosive player, and every time he gets the ball in his hands, he has a chance to score.”
Wilson had a simple answer when asked how that play felt.
“It felt good. It always feels good to score a touchdown,” he said.
The Blue Devils will need that explosiveness as the level of competition increases.
In 2014, Wilson was impressive, rushing for 598 yards and scoring five touchdowns, as a true freshman. Wilson averaged more than 7 yards a rush. He was part of a four-man rotation then.
This year, Duke coach David Cutcliffe has used Wilson and senior running back Shaquille Powell primarily to lead the rushing attack, as others are down with injuries. Sirk has also ran some.
And it has worked so far. Cutcliffe said he only expects Wilson to get better.
“Shaun missed a bunch of camp,” Cutcliffe said. “He’s just now really getting in stride and in shape, and I think he can continue to be special.”
Wilson’s answer was much shorter.
“I just want to make plays and help the team win,” he said.