FSU football star Marvin Wilson calls sitting out as protest 'the easy way out'

Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson was one of the most outspoken voices about social justice issues during the offseason.

But he said Thursday that he has not been a part of any conversations like the ones that led to open letters from Big Ten and Pac-12 players demanding reforms and new standards for health, safety, race issues and player compensation.

Wilson, the No. 9 player on Mel Kiper's early 2021 NFL draft Big Board, said he never considered sitting out this season, and his focus is entirely local -- both on and off the field.

"I didn't come back to sit out and just go prepare for the league," Wilson said ahead of Florida State's first practice during the coronavirus pandemic. "That's taking the easy way out. For me, personally, I feel like I have work to do here in Tallahassee."

Wilson made waves in June when he stated publicly that Florida State coach Mike Norvell misrepresented meetings between coaches and players after George Floyd was killed while in police custody. Wilson posted to Twitter that the team would sit out of voluntary workouts until the situation was resolved. Norvell later met with players to clear the air and thanked Wilson for bringing attention to the situation.

In the aftermath, Wilson has worked to start his own charitable foundation called Marvin's Movement, which he said is aimed at working with young people on financial literacy and other community service projects.

Wilson said he has been comfortable with Florida State's safety procedures throughout voluntary workouts, including routine testing, screening and social distancing. He said new helmets with special protective visors are uncomfortable but that players continue to wear them.

"They're overemphasizing everything, really," Wilson said.

Wilson said that he hasn't had conversations with his family about opting out of the season, as have other potential first-round draft picks, including Penn State's Micah Parsons, Minnesota's Rashod Bateman and Virginia Tech's Caleb Farley.

"Finally getting back to the team and training at the stadium," Wilson said. "I feel like to opt out at this last minute when we've worked so hard, that would be disrespectful [to my teammates]."