NEW YORK (ABC4 Sports) – It was a night Zach Wilson will never forget.
The highest drafted BYU player ever was selected with the second overall pick of the NFL Draft Thursday night.
“It’s been surreal,” Wilson said the day after the draft. “I can’t really explain the emotions. My girlfriend actually said to me last night, ‘I feel like we’re going to wake up and all of this is going to be a dream.’
Wilson’s meteoric rise has truly been incredible. Just a year ago, Wilson wasn’t even sure if he’d be the starting quarterback at BYU. Now, he’s the face of the franchise with the New York Jets.
“It’s crazy to think where I was a year ago and how I got to this situation,” Wilson said. “I am so blessed and excited to be in this position. I’m not an emotional guy, but last night getting my name called was a special moment for me.”
Now the pressure mounts, especially in a media market as big as New York. Even though the Jets haven’t made the playoffs in a decade, Wilson will be expected to produce right away.
“If you’re the second overall pick and you don’t perform, and you don’t work hard, it really means nothing down the road,” Wilson said. “All this is is an opportunity for me to come to an amazing organization and taking the same approach that I did when no one believed in me back at BYU after my sophomore year. So, it’s really that prove them wrong mentality.”
As a baby-faced 21-year-old, how will Wilson be able to be a leader on a team of grown men? Well, he was kind of used it at BYU.
“It’s funny because BYU has a bunch of older guys too with the missions and everything,” Wilson said. “Some of my best friends have three kids. But I think once I get in that locker room and I really get to know these guys and I get to show them I’m giving them my all, I think that’s where leadership starts to build.”
It’s not going to be smooth sailing right away. Afterall, the Jets were 2-14 last season. But Wilson having gone through two surgeries at BYU, Wilson knows how to battle back.
“There are bumps in the road, and you’re going to go through adversity,” he said. “That’s a learning experience. Every single thing that I’ve gone through, the lowest of lows, injuries and losing last-second games, whatever it is, I’ve learned so many amazing experiences from all of those. It’s part of the reason I’m here to today because of all the things I’ve learned from that.”