LOCALS IN THE NFL

Zach Wilson Receives Touching Letter From Parents After Getting Drafted By Jets

Apr 29, 2021, 10:08 PM | Updated: 10:12 pm

Mike Wilson - Zach Wilson - Lisa Wilson...

Former BYU and current New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (Courtesy of BYU Photo)

(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former BYU and current New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson received a special letter from his parents after getting drafted into the NFL.

The Jets selected Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 29.

Shortly after he was selected, Wilson read a touching letter from his parents, Mike and Lisa.

“What an amazing journey. We’re so blessed to have been given the opportunity to raise you and to be a part of your incredible life,” Wilson’s parents wrote. “At 7 yrs old you played in your first little league football game. We knew that moment you were different, that you were special. Your passion and love for the game, set the stage and we were officially a football family. You had always said you were going to play in the NFL. We loved you, supported you and tried to give you all the tools you needed to live your best life, even though the NFL seemed like a distant dream…. until it wasn’t.”

“As you know, it wasn’t an easy road. It wasn’t a story of state championships, Mr. Football awards and dozens of college offers. It was more of a Cinderella story. All of the people that doubted you, that said you weren’t good enough, played a huge role. in you standing on this stage tonight, living that dream, that you refused to let anyone take away from you. Every no, every doubt, lit a fire in you and set you out to PROVE THEM ALL WRONG.”

“From 4th string QB in HS to BYU. With the help of your amazing coaches and teammates, you made an impact on and off the field that will never be forgotten. When the world stopped turning due to a global pandemic, when so many others froze, you chose to live big, you trained and studied harder than ever before. Your refusal to quit and positive attitude, brought a light to so many during a difficult time. Thank you for giving us and all BYU fans a happy place away from the darkness.”

“We are most grateful, that even with your incredible success and incredible popularity, you have remained the gentle, humble and kind, little boy that we love so much. The example you set for your 5 siblings and so many others is priceless. As you start on your new journey, know that your family is so proud of you. That we will wear any color for you, that will travel anywhere for you and will always be your biggest fans. Love, Mom and Dad.”

After reading his parents letter, Wilson said he was emotional on draft night.

“Yeah, very touchy. Obviously, my mom wrote it because my dad is not that good with words,” the Jets quarterback said. “I can’t even express how much they mean to me and the impact that they’ve had in my life. You know, I can tell just by the hugs that we had, you know, coming out on draft night, how special this moment was for them and for the rest of my siblings. You know, I’m not an emotional person but I was definitely emotional tonight, giving them hugs.”

About Zach Wilson

By becoming a top two selection, Wilson became the highest NFL Draft pick in BYU football history.

After growing up a fan of BYU’s upstate rivals and committing to play for nearby foe Boise State, Wilson decided to attend BYU following his time at Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah.

Wilson began his true freshman season as the Cougars’ backup quarterback. Midway through the 2018 season, he took over as the team’s starter and led BYU to a bowl game victory to finish on the year. In the postseason win, Wilson went a perfect 18/18 passing for 317 yards and four touchdowns.

Following his first season in Provo, Wilson underwent surgery to repair the labrum in his throwing shoulder. The quarterback said the injury dated back to his time in high school.

The surgery caused Wilson to miss BYU’s spring practices and limited him during fall camp in 2019.

Wilson’s sophomore campaign had its ups as well as its downs. He helped the Cougars to big wins over Tennessee and USC before suffering a thumb injury midway through the schedule. Wilson’s injury required surgery and it sidelined him for a month. After returning to the field, he helped BYU finish the season with a 2-2 record in its final four games, including a bowl game loss.

The rollercoaster season forced BYU’s coaching staff to open up a quarterback competition between Wilson, Jared Hall, and Baylor Romney. Both Hall and Romney helped the Cougars to victories during Wilson’s absence following the thumb injury.

Ultimately, Wilson won the starting quarterback job heading into the 2020 season. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, BYU was forced to play an adjusted schedule that looked much different than its original slate of games, which featured multiple games against Power Five programs.

Despite the pandemic and playing a schedule that was throw together over the course of the season, Wilson performed spectacularly as a junior and led BYU to an 11-1 record, including a bowl victory over UCF.

Wilson finished the season passing for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions with a 73.5 percent completion rate. The quarterback also had 70 carries for 254 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior.

In January, Wilson announced that he would forgo his remaining years of collegiate eligibility and enter the NFL Draft.

Wilson ended his BYU career passing for 7,652 yards, 56 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions with a 67.6 percent completion rate. He also ran the ball for 642 yards and 15 touchdowns.

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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