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North Texas RB Jeffery Wilson inspired by support of ex-Raven linebacker Zachary Orr

INDIANAPOLIS — North Texas running back Jeffery Wilson didn’t speak to former Ravens linebacker and current personnel assistant Zachary Orr before the combine because he didn’t feel it was necessary. Wilson had spoken with the fellow former Mean Green standout on several occasions and he knew exactly what Orr would have said if he did contact him.

“I promise you I can call him and ask him right now and I can tell you what he’d say and I can put him on speaker phone and let you hear,” Wilson said at his media availability session Thursday. “That’s the person he’s always been. He’s just a genuine guy and I’m thankful to be able to have a relationship with him.”

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Wilson finished his collegiate career ranking fourth all-time on the school’s all-time rushing list (3,205), third in rushing touchdowns (32) and fourth in all-purpose yards (4,009). He had 1,215 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns in his final season at North Texas despite missing the final three games with a foot injury.

When he was invited to the combine, Wilson became the first Mean Green player to be so honored since defensive end Adrian Awasom in 2005.

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Orr, an undrafted free agent who made the Ravens in 2014 and led the team in tackles two years later before retiring with a congenital neck/spine condition, didn’t garner a combine invite. However, his improbable success in the NFL provided Wilson and other North Texas players with plenty of motivation.

“Obviously, he has a life of his own now, so it’s kind of hard for him to come back as much as he would. But I feel like if he could come to the school every day, he would,” Wilson said. “That’s just the kind of guy that he is. He’s always looking out, trying to get the best advice for us and just helping us through the process. He told me always keep a calm head and always believe I can do it. He’s a tremendous guy. I have the utmost respect for him and I always have. He’s one of the best. I’m glad that he was able to go to the league and play because that helped opened up the doors for us, just like the other guys we had.”

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