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Zach Wilson declares for 2021 NFL draft

Wilson announced his decision via Twitter on Friday afternoon.

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Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson looks to throw down the field during a game against North Alabama in Provo on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Zach Wilson’s time at BYU is over.

The dynamic quarterback announced on Friday that he will skip his senior season and enter the 2021 NFL draft following an 11-1 season for the Cougars. 

“To the greatest fan base in the world. Thank you for the best 3 years of my life. On our own home turf, or on the road, there was no question that the Blue Wave would be fierce. BYU is a special place. I’m forever blue,” Wilson wrote in a message, also thanking Cougar coaches Kalani and Fesi Sitake, Jeff Grimes and Aaron Roderick, plus former BYU quarterback and trainer John Beck, his teammates and his family.

Wilson was not high on the NFL radar going into the 2020 season, but the Corner Canyon High product put up some of the nation’s best passing numbers and is now widely considered one of the top QB prospects in the 2021 draft class.

In some media circles, he’s projected as being in the mix to be the second quarterback taken in next April’s draft, behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence is widely expected to be selected by Jacksonville with the first overall pick, though it’s becoming more common to see Wilson projected as a top 5 pick.

Wilson completed 73.5% of his passes in 2020 for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns and three interceptions and finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting. His 196.44 pass efficiency rating was second in the country and he finished in the top five nationally in passing yards and TD passes, while also adding 254 rushing yards and 10 more touchdowns.

Wilson will look to be the first BYU quarterback taken since Beck was taken by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft. He is the third Cougar offensive player to declare for the 2021 draft in consecutive days, following left tackle Brady Christensen and wide receiver Dax Milne.