Ex-Giants running back David Wilson falls short in triple jump debut

Former NFL running back David Wilson makes track and field debut in triple jump at Adidas Grand Prix

David Wilson, the former New York Giants running back forced into retirement by a neck injury, made his professional track and field debut Saturday in the triple jump at the Adidas Grand Prix.

Wilson, who last competed in the event while in college at Virginia Tech in 2012, failed to reach the final in the Diamond League event and finished ninth after posting his best jump of 14.66 meters. Wilson recorded a jump of 14.34 in his first attempt. His personal record in college was 16.2. 

"I'm not proud about my performance today but it was my first comp. I learn from every experience. Win lose or just plain bad I get hungrier," Wilson tweeted following the event. "I jump further than that in practice from six steps but back to the lab learn to control my speed."

Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Cuba won the event with a best jump of 17.56 meters.

Wilson had dropped more than 21 pounds from his playing weight with the Giants in order to prepare for the triple jump competition, but at 189 pounds he still outweighed the other competitors in the event by about 15 pounds.

The 23-year-old needed a jump of 16.3 meters in order to qualify for the U.S. Championships later this month in Eugene, Ore.

From there, Wilson's ultimate goal, less than 20 months removed from the end of his NFL playing career, was to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero.

The former Giants running back was a first-round draft pick in the 2012 draft but saw his career cut short by spinal stenosis before the start of his third NFL season. 

In his rookie year, Wilson set the Giants' franchise record with 327 all-purpose yards, which included a 97-yard kick return for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints.

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times