Dave Wilson attended Fullerton Junior College out of high school. He had a reputation for a strong arm and quick release, when he received a scholarship from the University of Illinois. Wilson had many issues with his NCAA eligibility due to some issues with his transcripts. The highlight of Wilson's career was on November 9, 1980 against Ohio State University, as he threw for 621 yards: an NCAA record that lasted 8 years.
Once again, eligibility issues forced Wilson to declare himself eligible for the supplemental draft. The New Orleans Saints took Wilson with the number 1 pick, as the heir apparent to Archie Manning. A knee injury his rookie season affected his mobility for the rest of his career. Wilson spent his entire career with the Saints until his retirement in 1990.
Wilson is currently a scout for NFL Pro Scouts in Southern California. Wilson has 2 sons who both play football.