Does BYU sophomore quarterback Zach Wilson ever get tired of being asked about his shoulder?
“I get it from a lot of people,” the Cougar gunslinger said at Cougar football Media Day on Tuesday. “It’s just expected though. It’s just a long process. It’s not something I don’t think any quarterback wants to deal with. It just is what it is.”
The reality is Wilson is confident that he will be ready to go when fall camp rolls around at the end of July.
“I think I will be 100 percent by then — hopefully even before then,” Wilson said. “I’m hoping a month before that I will be feeling good. I’m maybe 70 or 80 percent now but that’s gone up. I’ve only been throwing a football since June 1, so to progress from being 10 or 15 percent 15 days ago, it has come back fast.”
He said that since he has been limited with his throwing, his focus has been on being more mentally prepared with at least two hours per day of film work.
“My mental preparation is a lot different this year,” Wilson said. “Last year I wasn’t watching tons of film at this time. That’s what I need to do to take my mental game to the next step, especially if I can’t do all this physical stuff. I’ve been watching NFL quarterbacks who I want to copy. I wanted to start now to make sure I’m ready in August.”
The sophomore said that with that work and his previous experience, he has set some pretty high goals for himself to be ready for 2019.
“I expect myself to come back better than I was last year,” Wilson said. “I go back and watch the film, and although there are positive plays I just find so much to learn from. I’ll watch a touchdown pass and be like, oh my gosh, I could’ve done this so much better. That’s the mindset you have to have. I expect myself to come back 100 percent and go in fall camp, then do the things I haven’t done yet.”
It’s clear to many on social media that Wilson’s drive to be better is a family characteristic.
His mother, Lisa Wilson, has become a vocal leader exhorting greater devotion and passion for BYU football through channels like Twitter (@lisadancefit).
“75 DAYS! But who’s counting,” she tweeted out on Sunday. “Where are we at?️ Do you have your ROYAL apparel?️ Picked up your BYU cooler for the tailgate️ @byuROC? Have we simplified the system for our students️ @TomHolmoe? Did we invite our UVU FRIENDS?️ I’m not worried about @DKaulana he’s a Badass!”
75 DAYS!🔥But who’s counting 😏 Where are we at⁉️ Do you have your ROYAL apparel💙⁉️ Picked up your BYU cooler for the tailgate⁉️ @byuROC Have we simplified the system for our students⁉️ @TomHolmoe Did we invite our UVU FRIENDS⁉️ I’m not worried about @DKaulana😉 he’s a Badass! pic.twitter.com/sNDQkJJxuF— Lisa Wilson (@lisadancefit) June 16, 2019
Zach Wilson said his mom has set an example of determination and not getting distracted by outside opinions.
“She takes things head on,” Zach Wilson said. “She doesn’t really care what other people think. That’s what you love about her. She has that confidence. No one could ever hurt her feelings. A lot of that I got from her and that’s a great thing to have because so many people are going to hate or throw shade at you. You have to look past it and do what you have to do. She is like me in that once she has a goal in mind, she just wants to go get it.”
He did admit that like many sons sometimes he gets a little embarrassed.
“I tell her that sometimes but so many look at it in a positive way,” Zach Wilson said. “She does it out of love and has a good heart. She’s made a stand and people have listened to what she has to say. I think it is cool that she loves having the power and ability to get things done.”
While his mother pushes for improvements to the game-day experience, the Cougar signal-caller is pushing to be a greater presence on the field and to have a better grasp of what the offensive plan is.
“I never want to do anything that is a disruption to the offense or go against (offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes),” Zach Wilson said. “I always want to be on the same page. A lot of it is him having trust in me and me having trust in him. There will be quick game stuff, like if I see we have a hole in our protection I can flip to something else. I don’t ever want to switch to a play that isn’t part of the scheme and what he wants to do.”
Grimes said the teaching scheme that BYU implemented in spring should help guys like Zach Wilson have the on-field development to make the right adjustments.
“I’ve told the offensive players that we need to go from being a team that is primarily coach-led to one that is primarily player-led,” Grimes said. “There are so many more moments, particularly in the summer, when they are around each other. The peer influence when applied correctly can do much more than we as coaches can do. Hopefully those will produce a team that is is able to adjust better as we move forward.”