Today’s Topic: How Good Is Garrett Wilson As a Prospect?
Wide receiver Garrett Wilson is the second-highest-ranked signee in the 2019 class for Ohio State. And in being the No. 2 receiver in the nation, he is the highest-ranked receiver signed by the Buckeyes in the internet era.
Anybody who has watched him can conclude quickly that talent is not an issue. In high school, he was dynamic with the football and just as dynamic in his quest to catch it.
Talent, however, is rarely ever enough to succeed in big-time college football, and recruiting rankings are littered with guys who never came close to panning out.
So while putting together recruiting classes and targeting prospects, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day is first looking for the kind of talent that can play for the Buckeyes, but once that talent is found, the rest of the player must then be discovered. Are the grades right, is the character a good fit, is the effort where it needs to be in all things?
The answers must all be in the affirmative in order to fit what Day and Ohio State are looking for.
Those first impressions, however, have a way of lasting.
On a recruiting trip to Texas in 2017 to get a look at quarterback Matthew Baldwin, Ryan Day also caught his first glimpse of Garrett Wilson.
“I was watching Matthew Baldwin, so I went down to watch Matthew throw, and I see this wide receiver drill going on, and I see a wide receiver drill a guy and then drive — I told his dad this story — drive a guy into one of the trees and just start yelling and barking at him,” Day recounted back in December.
“And I said, ‘Who is this kid?’ And they said, ‘That’s Garrett Wilson.’ I said, ‘That’s Garrett Wilson, the one who grew up in Dublin?’ They said, ‘Yeah.’ And then from then on, I just followed him really, really closely, studied his film, got to know him. Hank Carter down there is one of the more talented coaches in all of America. He had nothing but great things to say about him, and then his film spoke for itself. As talented a young man as I’ve been around in terms of ball skills, speed, changing direction. He could be a Division I basketball player if he wanted to be.”
The fact that Day noticed Wilson’s effort before his ball skills could be an indicator of things to come. For everything that Wilson can do when the ball is headed his way, it is telling that Day’s first impression of him came from a blocking assignment.
And with all of this information at his disposal, and getting to see Wilson work out first hand this winter, nothing he has seen to this point has him doubting any of the information he was given or has gathered himself.
Which begs the question of just how good Garrett Wilson is as a receiver prospect.
“First off about Garrett is he comes from a great family, is a great person,” Day said. “When you get around him, he’s magnetic. The second thing is, he’s amazing because he’s a big-time basketball player. He’s never really spent time on just football. His potential, as good as he is, is through the roof. Now he has to go through it.
“This is really the first time he’s being challenged in the weight room. Coach Mick and his staff are all over him. Already gotten better and made strides. He has a long way to go physically.
“That being said, his skill set is off the charts, his ball skills, adjusting to the balls down the field, route running ability, length, as good as I’ve been around. How he does the next few weeks in the off-season program will be important, then he’ll have an opportunity to compete in the spring.”