Former Keyser standout and Fairmont State receiver/return specialist Matt Wilmer is getting set for his opportunity in rookie mini-camp with the Chargers coming up next week. And while he didn’t officially sign a free agent contract with San Diego, he has a chance to possibly earn one in drills.

“It’s been a long process, but from here on out it’s going to pick up a little bit,” Wilmer said. “It’s going to be a little bit more realistic, because it hasn’t hit me yet that I’m going to be a professional athlete here soon.”

And ultimately, just getting that chance at the next level is what Wilmer has been aiming to for all along.

“There were a lot of teams that had talked to me about wanting to sign after the draft, but it didn’t end up happening,” Wilmer said. “But the next couple days after the draft, some teams were getting a hold of me and the Chargers wanted to bring me in to camp. I’m just glad I got the opportunity.”

His relationship with the Chargers goes back to this past season with Fairmont State when scouts were in attendance for some of his practices.

“They like my work ethic and personality,” he said. “They also liked the fact that I have returns under my belt, the fact that I can be a receiver and come in and play special teams.”

In all, Wilmer totaled 1,445 all-purpose yards through 10 games during his senior season with Fairmont State – a sign of versatility that can only benefit him in camp.

“I can play all special teams if they want, not just return game,” he said. “If they want me to go down and make some tackles on kickoffs, I’ll do whatever I can to help the team.”

Regardless of whether Wilmer can earn a contract out of next week’s mini-camp, he now at least has his feet in the door. And the reaction he’s received from the Keyser area has been nothing but support.

“I love it,” Wilmer said. “They’re definitely excited for me. They like to see a small-town guy actually make it big, because it doesn’t happen often. I’m just glad that I can go through this experience.”

As a high school senior with Keyser, Wilmer rushed for 1,141 yards and scored 20 touchdowns back in 2008.

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