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Extreme reaction: BYU football signee Jacques Wilson received the news of a scholarship offer in a unique way

JUCO transfers Jacques Wilson signed on with the BYU football program in December with big goals in mind

SHARE Extreme reaction: BYU football signee Jacques Wilson received the news of a scholarship offer in a unique way
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New BYU football signee Jacques Wilson.

Provided by Jacques Wilson

CULVER CITY, Calif. — When a recruit receives his or her first scholarship offer, it’s a big deal and cause for celebration and even some extreme reaction for the important moment.

The reactions vary from recruit to recruit, although it’s safe to say few, if any, reacted the way recent BYU signee Jacques Wilson did back in April of last year.

“I threw up. No lie. I really did,” Wilson said.

The occasion was BYU assistant football coach Jernaro Gilford making a visit out to West Los Angeles College, where Wilson spent two years playing following a successful prep career at Hamilton High School. Gilford had been recruiting Wilson since his junior year of high school, but was able to do what Wilson describes as “blessing me” just after spring practices last year.

“Coach Gilford asked me who was interested in me, and I told him, and after he told me that BYU was now my first offer,” Wilson recalled. “I was in shock. I honestly had no idea how to react, so I ran out to the hallway and just threw up. I was then there for like three minutes, not knowing what to do or how to react. I was crying like a baby — just all curled up and all that until some of my teammates went to go see what the problem was.”

It took Wilson a while to even believe the news.

“I asked my coach if I was really just offered, and he laughed, saying, ‘Yeah, it’s all real. Congratulations,’” Wilson said. “I was just so much in shock because I wanted it for so long. It was a great day. A truly great day for me because I absolutely knew how big of a deal it was to have an offer from BYU. Coach Gilford blessed me.”

As mentioned, Gilford began the recruiting process in high school, but Wilson said he wasn’t taking school all that seriously at the time, and BYU had to inform him he couldn’t qualify. Wilson did receive offers from several smaller schools out of high school such as Sacramento State, but he believed junior college was the better option to achieve his goal of playing for a big-time college program.

One of the first steps was electing which position to play. Standing in at 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, Wilson proved to be a playmaker on both sides of the football in high school before choosing the defensive side of the ball in junior college.

“I like being aggressive, and I can do that a lot more on defense,” Wilson said. “I like receiver, but I don’t like running a lot of routes and only getting involved when the ball is thrown to you. I like being in on the action and playing (cornerback) allows more of that.”

Wilson played two years at West Los Angeles College and recorded five interceptions over that time. Bigger schools soon came calling after BYU extended him his first offer, with Utah State and Hawaii following suit.

Wilson had planned to take several official visits and then sign in February, but an initial trip to BYU the weekend before the Dec. 18 signing period changed everything.

“I didn’t have to go anywhere else. BYU had everything I’ve ever wanted,” Wilson said. “I was their brother the second I got there and it was nothing but love. It was really my first time even being outside of L.A., but it felt like home. It was eye-opening and I loved every minute of it and knew I had to stop everything and sign with BYU.”

Wilson grew a strong connection with just about everyone, although he cites players such as Micah Simon, Dayan Ghanwoloku and D’Angelo Mandell as players he particularly hit it off with.

“UCLA was starting to recruit me, which was a big thing, and if I waited, I don’t know, maybe they would have offered, but it really didn’t matter after I visited BYU,” Wilson said. “BYU offers a discipline I need. You don’t think you need all that discipline in high school, but it’s going to be good for me. You need that in your life and I’m excited and blessed to have the opportunity.”

Wilson will arrive at BYU in June and will use his speed and other skills to compete for a spot at cornerback. Although making an impact on the football field is a high priority, Wilson’s primary goals involve education and character.

“I want to study business and to get my degree. That’s absolutely my main goal,” Wilson said. “I also want to become a better man and then progress to maybe play in the NFL, but education and getting that degree is absolutely my main goal.”