How can you not love Boise State? They are a small school team in the middle of Idaho with a blue field and a coach that calls all kinds of wacky trick plays and stands toe to toe with the giants of college football. Boise is also the alma mater of Jets first round pick Kyle Wilson. Kevan at One Bronco Nation Under God, SB Nation's Boise State blog, was kind enough to answer five questions on Wilson.
1. Give us a brief bio on Wilson's career with Boise State.
Lightly recruited of high school, Wilson became a four-year starter and All-American for the Broncos. If you're big into WAC accolades, he had pretty much every one that counts. If you'd prefer stats, he finished with 11 career picks and two scores. Myself, I'm more of a feeling guy, and the feeling I always had when Wilson was on the field was one of relief, security, and an overwhelming feeling that some bad San Jose State quarterback was going to make the mistake of his life. And he usually did.
2. What would you consider his biggest strengths as a player?
I know a lot of people will point to Wilson's speed, aggressiveness, technique, and swagger as strengths. I'll assume those are given.
But what I find most valuable about Wilson is his knowledge of the game. Boise State can credit a lot of its success to having smart players, and Wilson is definitely one of them. He can read receivers like a book and he understands offensive tendencies and strategies. BSU defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox was one of the best in the business at gameplanning, so I can only imagine that Wilson learned a lot from him. Wilson benefited greatly from putting his outstanding work ethic to good use in studying the game.
3. Complete this statement. The Jets will be disappointed if they expect Kyle Wilson to...
... not bite on double moves. They are his kryptonite.
4. One of the perceived concerns against him is the level of competition playing in a non BCS conference. How did he fare against top competition when he had the chance?
I guess it depends on what you would consider top competition.
Oregon was one of the toughest teams the Broncos faced the last two years. Wilson picked off two passes in Eugene and made Jeremiah Masoli look like Neil O'Donnell in last year's game in Boise.
Hawaii's Greg Salas (a preseason All-American in 2010) was one of the toughest wide receivers the Broncos faced. Salas's numbers against Wilson: zero touchdowns, zero impact, two losses.
5. I noticed he had a lot more fair catches as a return man his senior year than his junior year. Was there any reason for this? Was he more tentative, or was this just more a result of circumstances (big hang time, blocking not opening lanes)?
Teams purposefully kicked with a complete disregard for field position when Wilson was returning. Punts would be incredibly high and wildly short to limit returns. The Broncos even employed two returners at times just in case it might help spring Wilson for a big gainer.
There was nothing wrong with Wilson. Teams just got wise to him.