PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – The BYU football team began voluntary workouts on Monday, and for quarterback Zach Wilson, he is eager to get on the road to redemption.
“It’s just a good start to get back into football,” Wilson said via Zoom.
After missing six games last year with a thumb injury, Wilson has hit the weight room hard this off-season, and has already put on about 11 pounds of muscle.
“This off-season is probably the hardest I’ve ever worked just because I know how rough it was last year missing games and missing an off-season,” said Wilson, who had shoulder surgery following the 2018 season. “It was a rough year of recovery and trying to stay healthy.”
Wilson, who rose to prominence as a freshman, had moments of brilliance last season as a sophomore, leading BYU to victories over Tennessee and USC. But after missing six games, Wilson struggled at the end of the year, throwing four interceptions and no touchdowns in the Cougars final two games, both losses.
Wilson ended up throwing for 2,382 yards, 11 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, while completing 62.4 percent of his passes.
“Overall, just my consistency and my play, being able to capitalize on more big plays,” Wilson said about what he needs to improve upon. “We were a lot better than what we showed last year, a 7-6 team. We’ve got to beat the teams that we’re supposed to beat. We won a couple big ones, but we’ve got to win the games that we’re supposed to win.”
Wilson will not just be handed the starting quarterback job this season. He’ll have to beat out Jaren Hall and Baylor Romney, who both led the Cougars to victories last season while Wilson was hurt.
“It’s really just pushing each other in practice, just worrying about ourselves,” Wilson said about the quarterback competition. “I think the biggest thing is not comparing yourself to anyone else, but just going in everyday focusing on how can I better myself than the day before. It’s a competition against yourself and not against anyone else.”
While BYU’s independent schedule may be up in the air as the Power-5 schools decide what to do if the college football season is altered, Wilson is preparing as though the season is going to start as scheduled.
“I’m super hopeful that we’ll be able to get back on time,” he said. “We play a really good schedule this year, so we’re just preparing for that and hoping for the best. Hopefully this is going to be a really good season for us. I know we’re going to come out firing. It’s going to be the third year in this offense and it’s going to be a special year for us.”