LOCALS IN THE NFL

BYU Coach Kalani Sitake Explains Why Zach Wilson’s Draft Stock Is Skyrocketing

Mar 8, 2021, 9:50 PM
Idaho Potato Bowl - Zach Wilson - Kalani Sitake...
Quarterback Zach Wilson #11 (MVP) and Head Coach Kalani Sitake of the BYU Cougars celebrate during the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the game against the Western Michigan Broncos at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on December 21, 2018 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho. BYU won the game 49-18. (Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – BYU football coach Kalani Sitake provided an explanation to why former Cougar quarterback Zach Wilson has seen his NFL Draft stock skyrocket in recent months.

Sitake discussed Wilson during an interview on the Rich Eisen Show on Monday, March 8.

During the interview with Rich Eisen, the BYU head coach gave his opinion to why Wilson is becoming a hot commodity to NFL teams.

“He watches all kinds of film on his off time. While guys are playing video games and playing their PS5s and stuff like that, he’s on his iPad and laptop watching film,” Sitake said of Wilson. “You can talk to our video coordinator. He (Wilson) downloads NFL films. So he’s watching Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, (Ben) Roethlisberger, he’s watching all these guys. And I mean, like tons of film, and then he’ll text me and say, ‘Hey, I like this play. What do you think?’ And there’s like, ‘Yeah, man, whatever you like. Let’s just take a look at it.’ And, you know, he just loves football. And that’s what he’s about.”

Sitake continued and said the reason why Wilson’s stock is shooting up is because NFL teams are getting the chance to talk with the quarterback directly.

“I think he’s in the right setting now and it makes a lot of sense why he’s skyrocketing. Because people are actually talking to him. It’s not like this is just happening out of nothing,” Sitake told Eisen. “People that know what they’re talking about in football are sitting down and talking ball with him. And they’re coming away impressed. And that’s just talking to him in person. When they see him throw, I think he’s gonna back it all up.”

The head coach added that Wilson’s work ethic will make him a “great player” for whichever team draft him.

“I can tell you one thing. Because he loves football, he’s such a great support in the team, in the position room, he’ll figure it out. I mean, he wasn’t the starter right away as a true freshman. He sat there and supported his teammates. And then when it was time for him to take the reins midway through the season, he was able to fly with it. And that’s just how he works. And then when we disrupted it because of injury, and we said, ‘Hey, we have to open up the quarterback competition.’ He didn’t feel entitled for anything. He said, ‘Let’s go to work man. Let’s do it.’ And it was pretty evident right away that he was up for the competition. So if you want a guy that’s going to work hard, get along with all his teammates, not feel entitled or anything, then you’re going to get the right guy. Whether it’s the Jets or whoever drafts him, I think they’re going to get a great player.”

About Zach Wilson

After leading the Cougars to an 11-1 with an impressive junior campaign. Wilson declared for the NFL Draft on January 1.

During his final year with BYU, the Draper, Utah native threw for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns, and three interceptions with a completion rate of 74 percent. He also had 254 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Wilson ended his career (2018-20) in Provo passing for 7,652 yards, 56 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions with a 68 percent completion rate.

2021 NFL Draft

The 2021 NFL Draft is scheduled to take place in Cleveland, Ohio from April 29 until May 1.

Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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