By Katelyn Merrell
“Good kid. Good athlete. In fact, he is one of the better athletes in the county. We are lucky to have him.”
-Coach Tom Giebe, on senior cornerback George Wilson.
George Wilson is a starting wide receiver and cornerback on Tustin High School’s varsity football team. Wilson is a starter and one of the “key” players on the squad. As a four year veteran of the Tustin Football Program, Wilson moved up to varsity his sophomore year. Originally a wide receiver, Wilson stepped into the quarterback role after starting quarterback, senior Quinton Roberson, suffered a season ending ACL injury. Wilson faced high expectations, but he did not let the high expectations command his performances on the field. He started in the last four games of the season and advanced into CIF playoffs as quarterback. His success as quarterback showed his versatility and his ability to overcome adversity.
At the age of 9, George Wilson received his first real taste of the sport that would eventually shape his future. “I always loved it, but I really started loving it once I started playing organized football,” explained Wilson. As George grew older, so did his love of football. A natural athlete, Wilson grew up playing both basketball and football. It was not until his sophomore year that Wilson realized football was the sport for him. “At one point it was between football and basketball, but I chose football because I knew I could go far in it.” Wilson began to channel his energy towards trying to get a football scholarship.
On an ordinary day during his junior year, George received a phone call from the coach at the University of Massachusetts. Little did he know that this phone call would be the first of five to determine the future of not only his life, but also his athletic career. After George answered the phone, the UMass coach said, “We would like to kick this whole recruiting process off and be your first offer.” At that moment George’s “heart stopped”. He was extremely overwhelmed with emotion and could hardly believe it was real. Wilson smiled while reminiscing about the phone call and said, “It was one of the greatest days of my life.” Wilson ultimately received five offers from the University of Massachusetts, University of Hawaii, Portland State, University of Utah, and Washington State.
The summer prior to his senior year, George Wilson verbally committed to the University of Utah, despite the fact that his dream school is Washington State. Wilson explained his choice of Utah over Washington by saying, “I am kind of an impatient person and Washington State didn’t offer in the time I wanted them to and I was like, well, Utah is here so I might as well go to one of my other top schools. So I chose Utah.”
As George Wilson prepares to begin a new chapter of his life his emotions are mixed. The 6’4 receiver is eager to start up his college career and play the sport he loves. However, Wilson admits he is a tad nervous to move to Utah, knowing no one, having to start over, and most of all, having to be away from his family. “I’ve always been a mama’s boy so I’m gonna really miss my mom,” George admits with a childish smile. George plays for his mom every time he steps out on the field. For Wilson, family has always played a major role in his life and is his motivation when he plays.
George’s mindset every time he steps on the field is, ““I’m gonna give it my all. I’m gonna hit them hard. And I’m gonna make them know who I am.” This strong mentality has carried Wilson through his football career and has given him a reputation as a threat to every team the Tillers play against. Wilson is often pulled aside and congratulated by opposing coaches for his success on the field. No athlete can go into a game and expect to win if they are not mentally tough and focused. Wilson’s drive and focus are major contributors to his current success and will continue to be factors in his future successes at Utah. Wilson’s mental toughness developed throughout his athletic career, through his experiences of adversity, including an elbow injury during his junior year’s season and a close call with a serious heart condition earlier this year that almost ended his athletic career. Through these adversities, Wilson has relied heavily on his faith. “I just kinda smile and pray about it, because if it’s God’s will, he’ll make a way.”
To silence the rumors that Wilson will not play on the 2014-2015 varsity boys’ basketball team, Wilson stated, “These rumors are false! It is most likely my last season of basketball so why not go for it.”