NEW YORK (ABC4 Sports) – Since getting drafted #2 overall back in April by the New York Jets, former BYU star Zach Wilson has been working towards this day — a chance to play in an NFL game.
Wilson is set to start at quarterback for the Jets in the team’s first preseason game Saturday against the New York Giants.
“Yeah, I’m excited,” Wilson said. “It’s going to be good just to get back into a season. It’s crazy how fast it flys by from college until now, preparing with these guys. I feel like we’re learning a lot, and I feel like we’ve got a lot of time to just keep learning.”
As a rookie, Wilson has obviously made some mistakes in practice. But while outside critics may be questioning his ability, Wilson has total confidence in himself.
“I can’t be afraid to make mistakes, especially in practice,” Wilson said. “This isn’t a game. This is where I’m learning what I can get away with and what I can’t. So there are times when maybe in a real game I probably wouldn’t throw that. But there are times when it’s like, well let me try right here and see what I can get away with.”
Besides, there is no harsher critic than a perfectionist like Wilson himself.
“I’m always hard on myself, even on a good day,” Wilson said. “When I say hard on myself, I’m not frustrated, upset and emotional. More just the fact that I expect so much out of myself, but I know it’s a process.”
Wilson is aware that playing for a team like the Jets, who went 2-14 last season, his rookie season could be a bit of a rollercoaster ride. But Wilson, who overcame injuries and adversity with the Cougars, says he is prepared to handle it.
“I think I really learned it at BYU,” Wilson said. “The ups and downs of the journey that come with playing quarterback. I understand that it’s part of the position. There are lot more pros than there are cons. So, just ignoring the outside noise and listening to what my coaches say.”