Ed Wang continues to pave the way for future Chinese football players. As the fifth-round pick for the Buffalo Bills in the 2010 NFL Draft, the 300-plus pound offensive lineman out of Virginia Tech became the first person of full Chinese descent to be an NFL draft choice. Now, a month later, he’s not only the first of the Bills’ picks to sign, but also the first fully Chinese player to be under contract for an NFL team.
“Just to get it all out of the way and show that I’m really here to focus on football that was my whole point,” Wang told Buffalobills.com. “I’m really happy. So now I can really just focus on football and do what I have to do on the field.”
While Wang may be ready to focus on football, he may be just naive enough to not fully recognize the impact he’s having on his home soil.
Wang’s popularity in his parents’ native China has been unprecedented since being picked by the Bills. Already, much like players in other sports (e.g. Yao Ming), Wang is being hailed as a pioneer for Chinese athletes.
“I think I’m grasping it more and more every day,” he said. “I know it’s really important and I welcome it with open arms. I’m really excited for it, but right now I’m really just focusing on football.”
He’ll have to do quite a bit of focusing too. As a rookie, Ed Wang has veterans Demetrius Bell and Jamon Meredith ahead of him on the depth chart