The 90 Illini #29: Evan Wilson August 3, 2012
6′-6″, 250 lbs.
Junior (on scholarship, 3 years to play 2)
Woodstock HS / Woodstock, Georgia
ALE Ranking last year: #16
ALE Ranking in 2010: #86
What I Know About Him:
From #86 to #16 and now back up to #29? I’m all over the place with Evan Wilson. But here’s the thing: in 2010 I had no idea how they’d use him. And they used him a lot. In 2011 I thought they’d use him all the time, both in blocking scenarios and pass catching scenarios. They did. In 2012, I have no idea. What do you do with a prototypical tight end when you switch to the spread?
I think it’s fair to say that Wilson lost his biggest fan when Paul Petrino went back to Arkansas. From the first few days of Wilson’s first Camp Rantoul, Petrino had him running with the first string. He didn’t care that Wilson doesn’t have top end speed – he liked him as a blocker and he liked him as a big target. Plus, Wilson, even though he’s lumbering when he runs (who wouldn’t at 6′-6″?), has the uncanny ability to spin around for a pass and stay on his feet. He’s already done this several times in his career – throw coming over his shoulder, spin around and catch it facing backwards, and then spin around again and keep running.
What I Expect From Him:
I think I’ve said this for every tight end so far, but I really don’t know. As I said above, I have no idea how we’ll use a prototypical tight end in the spread. Jon Davis will be the hybrid tight end motioning here and there and lining up anywhere from the backfield to split out at WR. Wilson? I really don’t know. Gonzo/Beatty (is it OK to call our coordinators Gonzobeat?) might use him the same as Petrino and then I have him ranked too low. They might not have a major role for a tall and big tight end, so I might have him ranked too high.
Whatever the scenario, we’ll know in 29 days when we take the field against Western Michigan. Twenty.nine.days.