Hillsborough Orange (N.C.) linebacker Payton Wilson received his honorary U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey Monday at his school as part of the Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance.
“It means a lot,” Wilson told USA TODAY. “My father was in the Army so it means a lot to him as well. That was one of the reasons I chose this game. I also was at the Combine and saw how they treated players. I decided right then that if they offered me I would commit then and there and that’s what I did.
“Not many people get this opportunity. It’s a blessing to be up there with the best.”
Wilson, a North Carolina commitment, is a four-star prospect who is ranked as the number three inside linebacker prospect in the country and the number three overall prospect in the state of North Carolina. He comes it at 68th in the 247Sports Top247 for the Class of 2018.
He won’t play in San Antonio as he recovers from a torn ACL suffered during his senior season, but Wilson said he’s looking forward to experiencing the game and spending time with other elite recruits who have become friends.
“People say it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so I’m looking forward to that,” Wilson said. “Also getting to hang out with guys like Trevor Lawrence who are friends of mine will be a lot of fun.”
Wilson and others will be in the Alamodome for the U.S Army All-American Bowl, which kicks off Saturday, Jan. 6 in San Antonio at 1 p.m. ET on NBC.