OSU: Wilson is a fighter, Yurcich says
to clear your head, do your job. You know that the coaches prepared you and all your teammates have prepared you and uplifted you, so you're going to do just fine.”
A sophomore, Wilson seemed as if he would get his chance next season, when Oklahoma State would replace 80 percent of its 2017 opening-day offensive line. But then right guard Larry Williams went down for the season and right tackle Zachary Crabtree injured his toe. Then, as Crabtree came back, center Brad Lundblade exited with a foot injury.
Suddenly, when friends from Wilson's hometown of Midland, Texas, traveled two hours north to see him in Lubbock for OSU's game at Texas Tech, Wilson was playing a vital role in the success of this superlative offense.
He was responsible snapping the football Mason Rudolph.
As OSU comes out of its bye week for a Homecoming tilt with Baylor at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Wilson will again find himself in an important spot. Lundblade was seen on crutches this week, so Wilson could be in line for his first start at center after starting the past two games at right guard.
Wilson handled duties well when forced to move to center for the last twoplus quarters in OSU's 4134 win over Texas Tech.
And if there's a notch in his favor, in addition to being patient, it's that OSU's offensive line coaches have groomed Wilson to be a center for the past three seasons.
“Bob Connelly, who originally recruited me, wanted me at center, and Coach (Greg) Adkins had me at center and (Josh) Henson had me at center,” Wilson said.
This summer, Wilson rotated between center and guard. That put him in position to start at right guard against TCU and Texas Tech.
For the TCU game, redshirt freshman Teven Jenkins started at right tackle, but Crabtree came back for Texas Tech.
If Lundblade is indeed out, Wilson and Jenkins will likely start next to each other at center and right guard.
It is not the pairing the Cowboys envisioned at the start of this season, when they planned for four senior starters on the line in front of a quarterback who could still win Trophy.
But Wilson and Jenkins have made strides since their first taste of meaningful playing time.
Wilson, in particular, stands out in the program because of his “mean streak.”
“It means he won't back down,” offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said. “It means he'll fight. It means he won't flinch. It means if he makes a mistake, it's just because he didn't have the information or didn't process the information. He's just going to compete his ass off for you and fight.”
In addition to Henson, who both Crabtree and Wilson credited this week, Wilson has developed with the mentoring of the veteran Lundblade.
Wilson said Lundblade observes his progress in practice — and isn't afraid to provide constructive criticism.
The extra teacher is one reason why, entering start No. 3, Wilson feels comfortable handling his role for a top-15 team.
“I'll go over there and talk to him and ask him how I did and he'll give me his honest opinion,” Wilson said. “So it's really nice to have him there and