Training camp is a hot, miserable exercise for most of the Dolphins.
Rookie cornerback Jimmy Wilson is thrilled by every minute of it.
"Every day, whether I'm sore or not," he said. "I'm happy I can come out here and do the things I love."
Wilson drove over and wound up in a confrontation with the man, Jimmy Smoot. A rifle appeared - to whom it belonged was never clear - shots were fired and Smoot was fatally wounded. Panicked, Wilson left the scene and headed to Montana. When he returned, he was put in jail and charged with first-degree murder, with bail set at $2 million.
Unable to post bond, he waited in jail more than a year for his trial. It ended in a hung jury, with the vote 11-1 to acquit. Prosecutors opted to try the case again, sending Wilson back to jail for another nine months. This time he was acquitted, gaining his release July 9, 2009.
Wilson said he tried to hold onto his NFL hopes while behind bars.
"Every night I'd go to sleep and think about plays I made, things I've done and seen, coming up with any way to get back out here," he said. "Every day now I wake up I'm thanking God for my family sticking by me, and for God sticking by me."
When his 25-month jail nightmare was over, Wilson opted to work construction while reconnecting with his family. But by last summer he was ready to seek another season of football.
That presented Robin Pflugrad, the Grizzlies' first-year coach, with a difficult decision.
"Word was out we were thinking about bringing Jimmy back, and for the most part the response was positive," Pflugrad said. "But there are always those people who say, 'Whoa, why would you step over the line there?' "
Pflugrad decided that the school owed Wilson another year of education, even if he came back as a team manager.
"He looked at me and said, 'Yeah, coach, that's great. But I'm a football player,' " Pflugrad said.
Wilson said he understands what Pflugrad did for him.
"After all the news reports, the flak I received after going to jail, it was huge on his part," Wilson said. "He told me he was putting his neck on the line to give me another chance. I really appreciate him for that. He jump-started my dream."
Wilson would play out his senior season and be drafted in the seventh round last April by Miami, but the year did not go without incident. Last August a woman accused him of biting her leg while they were in a car with friends. He insisted they were horsing around but pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was suspended for a game.
"(Wilson's) tenacity, the way he loves to practice. I can name 10-15 players I've coached who, when they come on the practice field - not a game day, but a practice - it is unbelievable how passionate they are about the game," Pflugrad said. "Patrick and Jimmy are that way."
Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter played one year with Wilson at Montana.
"I know he has a great passion for the game," Carpenter said. "I've heard nothing but good things coming through the Montana program."
Coach Tony Sparano's first impression has been equally positive.
"We've given a lot of people second chances, and we believe in that first of all," Sparano said. "With that being said he is going to be a good player. I'm excited this guy has this opportunity and certainly it has been a long time coming for Jimmy."