April 27, 2009

You Can't Teach Speed

With the seventh pick in the 2009 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders selected Maryland wide receiver Darius Heyward-Bey. There were receivers ranked higher than Heyward-Bey according to many draft experts including former Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree, but the Raiders decided to go with the fastest player in the draft. You can teach a player to catch or run better routes, but you can't teach elite speed.

Another athlete with a long sprinters background is Moore (Ok) Southmoore athlete Julian Wilson. The 6-2, 180lb speedster has been one of the fastest high schoolers in the state of Oklahoma since his freshman year when he made state. As a sophomore Wilson broke the state record in the 200m which still stands today, and ran a 4.3 40 yard dash at the all-state combine this past weekend.

SMU has been the only school to offer Wilson thus far, but he's been receiving letters from just about every school in the Big 12, Arizona, Oregon State, and Tulsa.

"I'm looking for a school with good tradition," said Wilson. "I basically look for a group that plays together as a team. I want to be on a team that's well developed, and I have a chance to help the team as much as everyone else does."

One school that has been sending Wilson a few letters, but hasn't shown as much interest in the other schools is Baylor. The Southmoore standout has done a lot of research on the Baylor football and track team, and would love to hear from the Bears.

"I'm very familiar with Baylor. I followed their track team a lot," said Wilson. "I haven't really kept up with their football team this spring, but I've seen them play. I know they have a really good quarterback, and I heard they had a good freshman receiver. I've pretty much been doing research on them and been hearing that their track team is one of the best in the nation."

If the Bears decided to join the Mustangs and offer Wilson, they'd be in a good position to land him.

"I'd put them really high," Wilson said if Baylor offered. "That's a school that has a good football team, good academics, and like I was saying the track team is one of the best in the nation. That's a place where I know I can play both sports at the highest level and get a really good education."
"You can see that they're starting to develop. They're going to come up and be a problem in the big 12 in the future because the coaches know what they're doing, and they're becoming a really good team," he said.

Wilson lined up at receiver, defensive back, and returned punts as junior in 2008. Many teams view him as an athlete with the potential to play on both sides of the ball.

"I've mainly been looked at as an athlete," said Wilson. "Some see me as a receiver, some as a defensive back, but mostly just as an athlete. I'm comfortable on both sides of the ball, so it doesn't really matter where a school wants me to play."

Wilson has taken visits to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, SMU, and Tulsa, and would like to wait until after his senior season to make a decision.

"I'm a great team player, a leader, and I'm coachable," said Wilson. "If you tell me I did something wrong, then I'm going to listen to you and try to take your advice. I know coaches are just trying to make me better."

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