This afternoon, Kentucky received quite possibly their most important commitment for the class of 2018. Four-star JUCO QB and former Oregon Duck Terry Wilson Jr. chose the Wildcats over Nebraska, Florida, Baylor, and Ole Miss, among others.
The 6'3, 195 lbs. QB played at Garden City C.C. in Kansas last season, where he threw for 2,113 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 11 picks, to go with 518 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
According to several reports, Wilson has shut down his recruitment and will take no more visits, and he will sign with Kentucky on Dec. 20.
So what kind of quarterback are the Cats getting?
Stephen Johnson is graduating this offseason, and his presence in the run game will certainly be missed. We saw how much of an impact his ability on the ground made in games like South Carolina and Tennessee, where a few key plays made the difference in the game's outcome.
As great as Johnson was in the run game, Wilson has the potential to be even better.
His north-to-south speed is elite, but his crisp cuts and shiftiness in traffic is where he truly thrives. When he gets upfield, he can shake defenders off and win footraces with just about anyone he faces. He's not Lamar Jackson, but his running is eerily similar to Robert Griffin III at Baylor.
The best part? He's not even a run-first athlete. In an interview with Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader,
he said though he loves to run and can make plays with his feet, he thrives in the passing game.
“My speed gets me out of a lot of situations,” he said.
Just thinking about Wilson, Benny Snell, and Lynn Bowden in at the same time is just scary to imagine.
Powerful arm, nice touch
When recruiting analysts say a recruit has a strong, powerful arm, a lot of times that means he struggles with accuracy. More often than not, it's a problem that lingers throughout their college careers.
Wilson struggled a bit with accuracy coming out of high school, but he saw a massive improvement over the last year at Garden City C.C. He finished the season completing roughly 60% of passes on 31 attempts per game, with deep balls a common theme in the Garden City C.C. offense.
A lot of times you see quarterbacks with strong arms overshoot their targets and throw their fair share of interceptions as a result. With Wilson, he takes his shots, fits balls into tight pockets, and completes some pretty impressive throws. On bootlegs and scrambles behind the line of scrimmage, the defense tends to attack with the assumption a run is coming, sagging a bit off the receivers. Almost to a science, Wilson has the ability to find the open man and make difficult throws look easy.
He threw 11 interceptions last year, so he's certainly not a flawless product, but his development has been spectacular and he's only getting better.
Again, the Wildcats got a true dual-threat talent.
Wilson's reads are crisp and he sees the field extremely well, both in the pocket and on the run. You rarely see him stare down one receiver, as he makes impressive progressions and finds the open targets. If no one is open or the throw is too risky, he looks upfield and takes off.
In the open field, he's precise and methodical. He understands timing for opposing defenses, and jukes them out of their shoes as a result. Like I mentioned before, he's not a pure north-south runner, where 40-50+ yards are his specialty. He's going to pick up the difficult 10-15 yards on the ground on a regular basis, and make highlight-esque home run plays more than enough to make fans ecstatic. His vision is a massive part of that.
Wilson is an extremely intelligent quarterback with a knack for making the right plays at the right time.
Drew Barker, Gunnar Hoak, Danny Clark, and Walker Wood are all on roster, and the staff has shown confidence in all four of them for the future.
Before today's commitment, it looked like Barker would be the No. 1 option next season, with Hoak also having a shot to compete for the job. Now, there is real reason to believe Wilson can come in and win the position from day one.
In the same interview with Roberts, Wilson said though it won't be handed to him, the coaching staff has talked to him about playing "right away."
“They’re talking about me playing right away,” Wilson told the Herald-Leader on Sunday. “I just have to come in, grind, and I have to take it.
If Wilson comes in and wins the starting job this Spring, he'll likely be the face of the program for the next three seasons. Those that know his game and have seen him play in person believe he can truly be a program changer for Kentucky. With the firepower UK is expected to have on offense next year, it wouldn't be a shock to see the staff add another weapon like Wilson on the field.
They do call him "Terry Touchdown" for a reason...
Watch him work:
Welcome home, Touchdown Terry!