PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – It has been quite a season for BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. He’s completed 78 percent of his passes for 1,928 yards, 16 touchdowns and just one interception in leading the #11 Cougars to a 6-0 start.
But with all the accolades coming Wilson’s way these days, he knows with one bad game it could all go away quickly.
“Really just using it as confidence going into the next week,” he said. “You don’t read into it too much because it comes as fast as it goes. We’ve seen that before. People love you one week and hate you the next.”
But to be mentioned as a top-5 Heisman Trophy candidate has been truly surreal. But he credits his entire team for being in the Heisman conversation.
“It’s a dream,” Wilson said. “It’s a blessing for sure. I always tell the guys on the team when they bring it up is it’s really a team award. No one is winning the Heisman if you’re losing games. If you don’t have an offensive line that’s protecting for you, if I don’t have receivers going up and high-pointing balls, or a defense making a stop. I tell those guys all the time that it’s really a reflection of our season.”
BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes, who was the offensive line coach at Auburn when Cam Newton won the Heisman in 2010, believes Wilson is a legitimate candidate.
“I think it would be really hard to find three or four or five guys who are doing better than he is,” Grimes said. “Obviously the season is not over yet. But I would say based on the body of his work at this point, yeah, they should be taking him seriously.”
Wilson has grabbed the attention of NFL scouts for his accuracy, decision making and especially his arm strength.
“I believe I can make any throw,” Wilson said.
“A lot of people can throw a ball a long way,” added Grimes. “But being able to throw a ball a long way to a place that only your guy can catch it is something different.”
Wilson has always played with a chip on his shoulder since arriving at BYU three years ago. In fact, he still wears a wristband that says “prove them wrong.”
“My whole life I always feel like I’ve come from the bottom,” he said. “I had never been the guy who has had so many scholarship offers, or was known as the big-time high school recruit. Even when I first got into high school, I was the fourth string quarterback my sophomore year at Corner Canyon. So, it’s kind of a motto I’ve lived by my whole life.”
Wilson also watches a ton of game film. But the other day, he took a break to watch something else — ABC’s The Bachelorette.
“I was watching some of the third down cutups, and I kind of expected him to be doing the same thing,” said Grimes, who texted Wilson that night. “He was watching the Bachelorette. So, I gave him a hard time about that.”
“Surprisingly, I think a lot more people watch it than they’d admit,” Wilson said. “I think a bunch of coaches watch it, I don’t care what they say. I know they watch it.”
Wilson and the Cougars next host Western Kentucky Saturday at 8:15 p.m. at LaVell Edwards Stadium.