It's the week after the Super Bowl and just a few days after the 2015 National Signing Day and you're asking how could Oklahoma State's new offensive line signee Johnny Wilson get a win. Wilson spent the week in Arlington, Texas practicing for USA Football and the Under 19 team that played against Team Canada on Saturday afternoon at UTA's Maverick Stadium.
This game has become a signing week tradition and in past years has been held on the Wednesday night of signing day. This year it was moved to Saturday after signing day and Team USA shut out the Canadians 35-0.
The 6-4, 287-pound Wilson played tackle primarily throughout a prep career that was highlighted by three TAPPS State Championships and being named TAPPS Division I All-State three times. In this game he got a taste of his future by moving inside to guard, and he might play center at Oklahoma State.
"I'll play wherever they put me," Wilson said in a signing day interview with Go Pokes. "I'm playing guard in this game and back in Midland I'm helping out our seven-on-seven guys snapping to the quarterback so I can get the snap down and be ready. I'm looking at coming to Stillwater and being a dual threat playing either guard or center."
"Johnny was our first commitment of the 2015 class. He is a leader and football junkie through and through," offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich was quoted on signing day. "Both of his parents played collegiate athletics. He's very heavy, so we know he can handle the center position, and give us versatility and depth by moving him to guard if needed. He's going to be a tough, physical leader for our football team."
I've watched video of the game and Wilson did not start but came in on the third offensive possession and played well at left guard. On one of his first plays he got off the ball well, lost contact with the defender in a zone run situation, but came back and re-engaged and drove the defender nearly 10 yards downfield.
His feet are good, but he was a little sluggish at first on pass protection. However, he showed his effort is so good. In one pass rush situation he did lose his man and the quarterback had rolled to the right and his defender was in chase. Wilson came back and crossed finding his defender and gaining an angle and put the defender on the ground.
After that first series, Wilson picked up the tempo at the snap of the ball and never really lost his defender again on pass rush. He is really good at the snap and coming off the ball and plays a good pad level for a high school experienced lineman.
It certainly appears he's fine with moving inside and it was not such a dramatic or difficult adjustment for him. "It's not that hard and it pretty easy to catch on to," Wilson explained." I used to play guard back in middle school. I'm kind of picking back up where I left off."
Wilson plays aggressive and one thing you notice is that he blocks and stays physical all the way through the play and until the whistle has blown.