Home > Illinois football > Illini Martez Wilson: ‘It’s an honor’ to play for Saints

Illini Martez Wilson: ‘It’s an honor’ to play for Saints

CHICAGO – Martez Wilson visited New Orleans during the NFL Draft process, but didn’t really have time to enjoy the Big Easy during his meetings with the Saints.

“It was just a business trip,” the Chicago native said.

The former Illini linebacker will have plenty of time to enjoy all that Nawlins has to offer after being selected by the Super Bowl XLIV champions in the third round  of the draft (72nd overall) on Friday.

“I’m happy. I’m blessed,” Wilson said. “I’m happy my name’s off the board and I’ll be going to a place I think I fit very well. I’m around good coaches, good people, and I’m happy with that.”

Wilson watched the draft with family in Chicago. He waited a little longer than some draft analysts thought. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. rated Wilson as the top inside linebacker in the draft – even though Wilson will play outside linebacker with the Saints – but he was the eighth linebacker selected.

“The past couple of days was all right,” Wilson said. “Today was just more of an anticipation day, just waiting to hear my name called. I was relaxed but just anticipating.”

The Saints finished 2010 with an 11-5 record to earn the fifth seed in the NFC playoffs before being upset by the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round. But New Orleans figures to remain a contender with Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees leading the explosive offense.

Wilson may not know much about New Orleans but predicts he’ll enjoy his digs.

“It’s going to be exciting,” Wilson said. “I’m playing with the defending champs not too long ago. I’m going to be playing alongside Jonathan Vilma. (Defensive tackle) Sedrick Ellis is in front of me. It’s a great honor. I can’t wait.”

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Categories: Illinois football
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