Secondary needs help: Bryan Wilson says he's ready

When you look at the passing output of both the red and white teams in the annual spring game at Nebraska, you might smile a little bit, thinking about what the quarterbacks did, but almost immediately after, you wonder where the secondary was meant to stop them. Well, as we have all known for sometime, it's a work in progress, the draft hurting and inexperience hurting a little more. Future DB for Nebraska, Bryan Wilson is ready to help fill what has become a desperate need at NU.

There's little about what is going on in the life of future Husker Bryan Wilson that is complacent. The classes, the workouts, the myriad programs he has to get better physically and mentally, that's just the normal day for him.

That's a good thing, though, because "normal" was more frustrating in the not-so-distant past.

First, there were the shoulder injuries while at Granada High school in Granada, California, two of them in fact, effectively sidelining him for most of his senior year. Then, at College of the Canyons Junior College, he had a broken leg that ended his non-existent career there.

Even before he arrived at L.A. Pierce, Wilson's trials and tribulations from injuries cemented him a nickname to those that got to know him best.

"They called me Glass Joe," Bryan said. "That character on Mike Tyson's Punchout, the one that begins the game."

"I was like that guy they didn't think was going to make it, because I couldn't stay healthy, but I know that nickname was just guys having fun with me."

That fun was easy enough to handle, but Wilson was determined that one day he would realize the goal he had all the way back to before his first injury ever occurred. One day, someday, he would be in uniform starting for a division 1-A. team.

Over a year after that, Wilson is now looking back at his one-year career with L.A. Pierce, where he had a solid season, totaling 39 tackles, including one sack and he broke up 9 passes will recovering a fumble as well.

It's not the kind of year Wilson expected to have, but not because he's injured, rather, because he expected better. "To me, that was nothing," Bryan said. "I remember standing on the sidelines when I couldn't play and thinking to myself that I was better than all those other guys on the field. I knew I could make plays that some of those guys couldn't make."

"I really am humble off the field, but when I get those pads on and put that helmet on, there's nobody I don't think I can beat."

You could call his one year at Pierce to be his debut year out of a storied career in frustration. Wilson prefers to not think about where he's been, though, looking now at Nebraska as the horizon he's been trying to see.

The goal he had all along has been a reality for months and for him, the excitement still seeps in from time to time. "You think about it sometimes," Bryan said of being at Nebraska right now. "You think about what it would like to be out there right now or having played in the spring game."

"I don't worry about that, though, because I know I will be there in July, but I have to make sure that even before I get there, I am ready to go."

Fans would have liked to have seen him at the spring game themselves, the secondary as a whole, basically abused for four quarters. Outside of a stellar play by Daniel Bullocks, who took a Joe Dailey slant-pass back 58 yards for a touchdown, there was a lot more bad news than good.

Wilson knew about the need Nebraska had even before this game arrived, though. He knew it or else he would probably not be here. It's the opportunities, but like any player, he knows his opportunities aren't there to be given, but taken.

"You get back what you put in," he said. "You work hard now, so that you can just go into the season ready to play the best you have ever played. They have some guys there that can play that I have to beat out if I want to hit the field."

"I can't worry about what I do in a game until I get my game to the point where the coaches feels I need to be on the field."

Yes, the modesty flows now, but as Wilson stated, the personality shifts almost a 180 once he dons the helmet and strolls out between the white lines. It's almost Jekyl and Hyde-like and unfortunately for receivers, they are going to see Mr. Hyde.

"I'm going to talk to you and let you know what I am going to be doing to you all game," Bryan said. "And, after I do it, I am going to tell the guy standing next to you what I did to you and tell him that if he comes my way, he's got that coming to him."

"Off the field, I don't talk at all, but once I am on it, I'm going to let you know the kind of day you have coming."

At 6 foot, 2 inches tall, weighing around 200 pounds, you could see Wilson physically matching up with them all. Size, a reported 4.5 40 and a vertical of 36 inches doesn't hurt either.

That's a big reason for his confidence, but Wilson said that you can be gifted beyond reason, but if you aren't mentally ready to play cornerback, don't even step on the field. "A cornerback has to be confident," he said. "You have to know that the guy across from you can't beat you. You have to know that no matter what he does, you have something that is going to take away his game."

"The second you are intimidated at all, you are done, so if you want to be a success game-to-game, you have to be feeling it every minute you are out there."

Wilson is already feeling it, but it's more the intensity of the workouts he's going through, compliments of Nebraska strength and conditioning coach, Dave Kennedy. And, it's the finishing of school, Bryan with his regular classes until June and then one more four-week class that will take him into early July.

After that, though, he knows what he'll be feeling, because it was the first thing he felt when he knew that his dream of playing division 1-A ball came true.

He's feeling like he's ready to play.

"Don't look back, look forward," Bryan said of an example of his philosophy. "Don't play like you are going to be injured, play like you can't be. Don't look back in trying to figure out what you did wrong. Just look ahead and make sure that this time you do everything right."

"I'm ready to play right now, but the wait is going to make it that much sweeter."


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