SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Springfield native is now a defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins.
Christian Wilkins was the 13th pick during the first round of the NFL Draft by the Dolphins Thursday night.
Wilkins played high school football at Suffield Academy in Connecticut, ,where he led the team to 4-consecutive bowl championships.
He then went on to an all-star college career at Clemson University. During his years at Clemson, Wilkins won two national championships and earned two All-America honors.
22News spoke with Wilkins’ high school football coach who was right by his side at the NFL draft Thursday night. Coach Drew Gamere said Christian is poised to succeed in the NFL.
“He’s a very thoughtful guy, and he’s very in the moment,” said Coach Drew Gamere. “So, for him, it was first being successful at Suffield Academy, then going to Clemson and being successful there. And I think he’ll be successful going forward as well.”
Coach Gamere also said Wilkins just wants the best team and opportunity for him, no matter what team drafts him.
Wilkins was also a model college athlete.
Last year, he won the William Campbell Award, which is given to the player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance.