A feeble 1990 season for Bowie State probably hit Butch Wilson the hardest.
A running back from Landover Hills, Wilson racked up solid numbers last fall, gaining 721 yards and four touchdowns on just 139 carries. The team's performance wasn't quite as solid, as the Bulldogs' planned defense of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association title went astray early. They lost their first four league games and finished 3-6 overall.
"I didn't like that at all," Wilson said. "We let a few games get through our fingers, and I wasn't used to that. I had always been affiliated with winning teams, and it wasn't something I was used to. It's not something I want to go through again, either."
Here's the background Wilson referred to:
* In 1987, as a senior at Fairmont Heights High, Wilson was one of the premier backs in talent-rich Prince George's County. He led the Hornets in rushing and into the state Class 2A playoffs, where they lost the championship game to Walkersville.
* As a true freshman at Bowie State in 1988, he was a season-long substitute behind some quality, experienced people. The Bulldogs gained their first and only berth in the NCAA Division II tournament, where Wilson turned seven carries into 105 yards against Portland (Ore.) State.
* In 1989, a late-season injury slowed Wilson, but he was still the top rusher in Bowie State's march to the CIAA title. In eight regular season games as a sophomore, Wilson gained 509 yards.
Wilson's three-year college totals read 293 carries for 1,442 yards. With Bowie State scheduled to play only nine games, he'll need to improve on last year's pace to get the school record for career yardage (2,322) set in 1975 by Milton Carr, but Wilson figures to get the necessary work.
When the Bulldogs open against Livingstone (N.C.) College at home tomorrow (1 p.m.), coach Sanders Shiver will most likely have freshman Keino Fitzpatrick at quarterback. Look for Wilson to get the ball early and often.
Wilson weighs 220 pounds and is listed at 5 feet 10 in the media guide, but he admits to being closer to 5-8. He was serious about weightlifting before football, and was bench-pressing 360 pounds before he even got to Bowie State. Now he's up to 415.
Wilson scored 680 on his first stab at the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Some Division I schools wanted him to take it again and get the 700 needed, but that early score was good enough for Division II and Bowie State, where Shiver and then head coach Dave Dolch trumpeted Wilson as one of their first quality freshman recruits.