Wilson looking to get back into action

With tight end Austin Holt redshirting this season in order to further heal his knee, and with tight end Richard Wilson told to take time to nurse some sore knees of his own, the tight end position has gotten a little thinner over the past few weeks.

"For me, I've just been trying to get my back knees healthy," said Wilson. "You know, the first three games they felt pretty good but just weren't used to the wear and tear of running around so much. So, Coach Doman held me out for the past two weeks, or for as long as it takes, to get my knees feeling good. I was able to still make plays, but I wasn't back to where I was before. I wasn't back to my full potential, so he just wanted to rest me and get a little more rehab on it."

The good news is that Wilson's time off has indeed helped him.

"Then this past Monday, I woke up and my knees felt great," he said. "Then I had a test on Monday, so I didn't practice and since then my knees have felt even better," Wilson said. "I'm going to keep double treatment, and if I get in, I'll get in. If I can get in I want to make plays."

On Tuesday, Wilson suited up and headed out onto the practice field.

"They felt really good and I practiced really well," Wilson said. "What the doctor told me is that with an injury as serious as mine, it usually takes about a year to come back, and I came back in nine months. So, this week my knees have been feeling really good and I had a good practice.

"I ran a lot in practice and I had about seven or eight catches, honestly. Devin [Mahina] was out, and I'm not sure where he was at and why he wasn't out here, but I had a good practice. That's all I can really do is come out and show the coaches that my knee feels good and that I can make some plays out here, and hopefully that translates out onto the field.

"As of right now I'm the number two guy because [Mahina] wasn't out here [on Tuesday]. That might not be the case later on, but I'm going to keep practicing and preparing like I will be the number two tight end come game day. Hopefully I can keep practicing well and show the coaches that I'm ready to go against Oregon State."

Wilson hopes that by the time the Cougar offense takes the field, he'll be able to participate to some degree.

"It will be a year this weekend since I had my injury and it's against the same team, Oregon State, that we played when I got my injury," Wilson said. "When I saw the schedule and the date that we were going to play Oregon State again on the same day that I had my injury, it was kind of strange.

"I mean, it's the same day and against the same team, so I'll be out there against Oregon State on the one-year anniversary of my injury playing against the same team when I had my injury. It's been a long road and I'm just grateful to be back out here practicing again."

Well, it's almost the same day. Last year's game against the Beavers was on October 15, while this year it's on October 13.

In any event, does this game against Oregon State hold a personal meaning to him because of what happened last year?

"For me it's like any other game and for me that's how I'm kind of taking it," Wilson said. "I just want to get back out there and play but stay healthy. If I'm able to go in I want to play well, you know. Pay back."

If Wilson is fortunate enough to see the field, he'll be facing many of the same players he faced in Corvallis last year when he suffered his injury. But Wilson looks at it differently. While some who've suffered a devastating injury might cringe or be a bit hesitant, he sees great opportunity.

"We're really excited as a team, you know," Wilson said. "This is basically the same team that we played last year, and so we've kind of ridden to build upon heading into this game. We've beaten them before and we can beat them again. They're a good team and they've had some experience early on in the year and they've won some big games. And so, I think it's a great challenge for us. But, knowing how good our defense has been playing, hopefully we can get our offense rolling this week and we can put up some points. We're excited about this game."

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