I like me

Wilson has 4.29 40 speed and surprising strength for a 5'10", 205-pound back. Bob Donnan/US Presswire

This story appears in the October 3, 2011 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

"YEAH, IT'S A BIT, UM ... "

David Wilson is trying to describe the list of five goals he keeps taped up in his locker. The thing is, the 5'10", 205-pound Virginia Tech junior doesn't want to give the wrong impression. "Well, when I put that list together, it wasn't to be ..."

It's the kind of checklist that can only be written by a man desirous of a grander personal narrative. By a man who has spent two seasons fighting for carries behind a trio of runners -- QB Tyrod Taylor and tailbacks Ryan Williams and Darren Evans. By a man who has shown flashes of brilliance, particularly on kick returns, only to be sent back to the sidelines. But now the Hokies are Wilson's team. And his taped-to-his-locker manifesto reflects the mood of a program that is itself on the brink of a breakout season.

"Yes, sir," he politely continues. "My individual goals are kind of up there. But I don't want you to think they're too ..."

"He doesn't want to say it," interrupts cornerback Jayron Hosley, laughing. "It's cocky, man. But here's the thing. Is it really cocky if you end up doing it all? Because everyone in this locker room believes he will."