Rivals100 WR Garrett Wilson heading home to Ohio State
When it came to Rivals100 wide receiver Garrett Wilson’s commitment, before anything, there was one really important question to answer: Should he go back to where he came from, or stay where he’s made a name for himself?
Wilson is from the Columbus area but moved to Austin when he was 12 years old, and by the time he was a junior at Lake Travis High School he had become one of the nation’s top wide receiver prospects. After making another run at a state championship this fall, he’ll be headed back to Ohio, and he couldn’t be more excited about it.
“I feel like just looking out for my future that Ohio State was the right choice for me,” he said. “They put receivers in the [NFL] every year regardless of their stats - obviously I want to catch passes - but I feel like they are doing that now with the quarterbacks that they got. The chance to compete for national championships is also appealing to me, and being from there, growing up there and watching all the legends that were there from years ago was something that I couldn’t forget about.”
The heaviest influences in Wilson’s commitment to the Buckeyes can be broken broken down into three main categories: head coach Urban Meyer, 2018 Ohio State signee and former Lake Travis quarterback Matthew Baldwin, and of course, the family and friends ready to welcome him back to Ohio. Recruiting can be an inexact science, but the personal attention that Meyer showed Wilson throughout the process was difficult to ignore.
“I talk to him every day, and for someone like Urban Meyer to want to talk to you every day, get on the phone with him - sometimes even twice a day - that’s something that you can’t look past,” he said. “Everyone knows that’s Urban Meyer and he could have a lot of reasons to not have to talk to me every day, but he wanted to and that was huge in my recruitment.”
If coaches’ words have to be taken with a grain of salt, then the endorsements that Wilson heard not just from Baldwin - but other players that he met in his visits to the campus filled in some of the blanks. During the process, Wilson said that he’s built a high level of trust with more than just the QB he is now gearing up to reunite with after this season.
“Knowing what I’m getting into at quarterback is huge for me,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll have some good years together, but (Baldwin) is already telling me that he loves it up there, and he’s going to be honest with me. I don’t have to worry about him lying to me just to get me to come up there, but he helped me make this decision.
“I got to talk with Parris Campbell and Dwayne Haskins - and I still talk to Dwayne Haskins just about every week,” he added. “I got to talk with a lot of players and they wanted me to talk with them. After I asked them what it was like up there, they were real with me about it, too, so that was good.”
Wilson has two brothers that live in Ohio - one who resides in Columbus already and another that attends Bowling Green, just south of Toledo. Although he’s developed quite the reputation in Austin while playing for one of the state’s most successful football programs, his connections to his home state never faded. Even though everyone back home might not be die-hard Buckeyes fans, they’re certainly huge fans of Wilson.
“There’s actually more Michigan fans up there than you think,” he said. “But besides that, they all wanted me to come back to Ohio.”
Texas certainly would've liked to keep Wilson in Austin, as it continues to try to add playmakers to its stable of receivers, but even after putting forth a good pitch to keep him local, Wilson said that he’s 100 percent committed to Ohio State and has no plans to include the Longhorns in his future plans. Moreover, he plans on returning to Ohio State for another visit in May and is anticipating being back for no fewer than two home games in the fall.
“They were close,” Wilson said of Texas. “I’m not going to lie, the official visit made me think about them a little more. In the end, I’ve watched a lot of people go to Texas with a ton of ability and maybe not achieve what I thought they could. I didn’t want to be one of those guys.”
Wilson is no doubt looking forward to closing out his high school career on a high note, but is just as anxious to begin a new legacy at Ohio State. He said after talking with former Buckeye and current New Orleans Saints star receiver Mike Thomas on his official visit, he’s all the more enthused about continuing his future from where his story began.
“You have coaches that know what they’re doing and when you have guys that come in as three-stars and go to the league like Mike Thomas - he’s someone that’s done what I want to do and still going at it,” he said. “They’re expecting to lose four or five receivers after this season, so that leaves an opportunity for me to come in and make an impact as soon as I get there, and that’s huge for me.”