The Jets have their latest promising quarterback from the future.
As expected, new york selected zach wilson from byu at no. 2nd pick in the 2021 nfl draft on thursday night. Wilson will now take on the task of helping the Jets break out of the AFC East gridlock and return to prominence, a feat that many before him have failed to accomplish.
Naturally, a new quarterback in the Big Apple raises a lot of questions about the player and the person. Wilson might not be the son of Byu Great and former Raiders quarterback Marc Wilson, but he comes to New York with an interesting background and impressive talent nonetheless.
Here are eight things to know about the Jets’ new signal caller and what it brings to the table on and off the field.
taking flight runs in the family
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wilson was born and raised in the west and has rarely ventured east so far in his young life. However, it shouldn’t be too difficult for his family to make travel arrangements from Utah to New Jersey to watch him play, since aviation runs through Wilson’s bloodlines.
Wilson’s uncle, David Neeleman, is the founder of JetBlue and other commercial airlines such as Morris Air, Azul Brazilian Airlines, and Brisa Airways. He also owns 45% of the European commercial airline Tap Air Portugal.
It’s fitting that Wilson lands with an organization whose hashtag is “#takeflight”. The hope is that he can take a page out of his uncle’s book and get the New York offensive off the ground in a safe and orderly fashion every week.
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Wilson was expected to become the next in a long line of prolific quarterbacks at Boise State before he changed his mind and chose to play his college football closer to home.
wilson originally signed with boise state, but eventually disassociated himself and switched to byu, which is about 30 miles from his hometown of draper, utah, before national signing day.
The decision turned out to be a wise one, as Wilson saw substantial playing time from day one, throwing for 1,578 yards and 12 touchdowns with just three interceptions. He took over as BYU’s starting quarterback full-time in his sophomore year before breaking out as a junior with 3,692 yards and 33 passing touchdowns.
big family tree
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wilson will have to book a lot of tickets when his family wants to go see him play at metlife stadium.
Wilson’s grandparents have seven children, 36 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren, according to the Deseret News. he’s also the oldest of four brothers, one of whom just got engaged to play college football at byu.
Another interesting part of Wilson’s family tree is his roots. Wilson is of Hawaiian descent, so his Twitter handle is @zachkapono. the Hawaiian meaning of kapono is “the good one”.
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wilson would often drive 10 hours from the byu campus to southern california to train with his quarterbacks coach, john beck, before his breakout junior season. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Wilson stayed in California and took a new job to pay for gas and other expenses.
While in California, Wilson worked as a gate driver, according to NBC Sports’ Peter King. The long weekend nights delivering food paid off in Wilson’s ability to account for his expenses and allowed him to continue his work with Beck, which was instrumental in his development throughout. 2020.
real acknowledge real
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long before wilson led byu to one of his best seasons in the show’s history, jimmer fredette led the cougars to a wild ncaa tournament that earned him national stardom.
turns out fredette is a big fan of wilson. She tweeted her affinity for the signal caller after Wilson led Byu to a 51-17 loss over No. 21 boise state last season.
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Wilson is known for his impressive arm and overall athleticism, but his ability to work quickly on his reads also gives teams reason to salivate over his potential.
how can wilson perform his progressions so efficiently? hand-eye coordination plays an important role. It’s clear that Wilson is elite in that area, as he is a master juggler, according to the Deseret News.
“he taught himself how to juggle and mastered it,” said wilson’s brother, josh. “He is an incredible juggler. he worked until he got it.”
corner cannon superstar
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images
long before wilson dominated at byu or showed his potential at his pro day nfl draft, he was one of the most prolific high school quarterbacks in utah.
Wilson took the reins under center at State Powerhouse Corner Canyon High School as a junior and made an instant impact, throwing for 2,708 yards and 20 touchdowns along with 539 rushing yards. Wilson upped his game his senior year, leading Corner Canyon to the Utah 5A semifinals, regional championship and an 11-1 overall record with 2,986 yards and 24 touchdowns along with 752 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
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Wilson is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and considers himself a Mormon, according to the Deseret News. However, he does not see himself as a “representative” of church or religion as other BYU athletes, such as Saints quarterback Taysom Hill, have done in the past.
“It’s not something I’m against, it’s just that I didn’t grow up active in the church,” Wilson said. “I’m not that church ‘poster boy’…I was never really a churchgoer in my life, I just didn’t get very involved in it. My family and I have the same morals and values that the church has, for sure, but I really didn’t know much about teaching and stuff until I came to you.”
Wilson has been called “Mormon Manziel,” a nod to former NFL QB Johnny Manziel, but he wasn’t exactly a fan of the moniker.