There’s nothing better than watching people who work hard, beat the odds given to them, proving doubters wrong, and achieving incredible goals.
Allow me to introduce Logan Wilson. A 190 lbs 2-star athlete, about as raw as they come, who only received only 1 FBS offer coming out of high school.
Fast forward 4 years, 3,618 snaps, and 409 tackles, and we are now looking at a promising LB prospect going into the NFL draft.
To better understand the journey of Wilson, who he is, and what he does well, we spoke with and went through some film with Wyoming LB coach Aaron Bohl, who has been around Wilson throughout his time in college.
On Logan Wilson growing as a player at Wyoming:
“When Logan come out here he was such a raw athlete. He played cornerback in high school, he had great feet and length. In his first year he redshirted and worked his butt off, grew his body. That’s a huge test for an athlete. I’ve never seen anyone take care of their body the way he has. He could always run. He came in around 190. He graduated at around 240. His speed actually got better. You saw a guy who was really physically explosive and especially at the point of contact and shedding blocks. That really transitioned in his sophomore year, and once he hit his sophomore season he really separated from everyone else. With that, you could see his confidence come about too. He is the most humble guy in the world, but at that point, you could really feel him noticing he was becoming something special – that was really fun to see.”
On playing between the tackles as a box LB:
“His feet are so clean all the time – he is always in a good base, so it’s natural to him to shuffle, tracking people. I think that came naturally to him because of his background from playing corner. Some players get really messed up, their feet cross and everything. He always has a square base and can react quickly to things fast in front of him. That allows him to be patient and let the play develop because his body naturally comes in a good position and being able to strike fast. When you play enough, you’ve seen a bunch of plays you start really counting on the player.
Sometimes as a coach things in the game move too quickly too, and you can always rely on him to come back after an 8 play series and fill you in on what is going on out there from a player perspective. His football intelligence and field recognition is very spot on.”
On the following clip displaying Wilson vs Jet Sweep:
“His job first off is the B-gap player to start, but as the jet motion happens, which is always tough because it happens to close pre-snap, he snaps his eyes to the off-TE who ends up blocking the OLB, and then his responsibility becomes to fit inside that. He stays really well to the inside hip there.”
On the following play displaying Wilson missing a tackle on toss play:
“Logan does a good job in the sense of reacting quickly, playing fast. I don’t know if you can see it on the TV copy, but SD State ran hurry up offense there and our call got in late. So our players had some trouble aligning. Despite that Logan commands the alignment of his teammate and still playing fast and pulling the trigger. What you like here is for him to play a little more lateral and he ends up with kind of a banana angle as he’s coming around. I don’t mind him launching into it there when coming around a block like that because you know, coming around the block like that you don’t know how many times you’re going to end up tripping the guy. Ideally, you want a bit better starting position when engaging the block so he doesn’t have to round it so much.”
On the following play displaying a missed tackle on 4th down and 1:
“Ah yeah, i remember this one. They scored on the play after. It’s never a perfect game. Logan doesn’t miss a lot of tackles, but this is one of the big ones. You’d like him to be able to keep his inside foot up here and have a better base going into it. Thing is, Logan’s so cerebral that he notices a play and plays it like he expects it to come, so when the play is off it sometimes throws him off a little bit too. So in this clip, he sees the guard coming around and we expect SD State to block out Logan with him, but here he never manages to come around (he trips). So Logan is embracing for the pulling guard, and when he never shows up it can make you go “what’s going on?”. That’s a great trait to have, but right there he needs to do a better job. It’s an outlier play for sure.”
On lining up outside the tackle box and playing in coverage:
It’s always weird as a coach putting a 240 lbs guy that might be the best tackler in the conference out of the box, but we were never worried about it. If you watch a lot of our 3rd down stuff from last year, his matched up with receivers a lot of times in one on one situation. There’s a 3rd down I remember against Missouri, they are backed up on 3rd and 11, and Logan is playing one on one against their best slot WR and makes a great play and forces a pass breakup. We were able to so much of that stuff with him that it would help our game plan a lot with blitzes and coverages because we didn’t have to “hide” our middle linebacker, which a lot of teams have to do because at the end of the day they can’t play in space and doesn’t play well because of lack of confidence out there. Logan never got nervous when he was out there alone in space.
On not seeing Wilson play a lot of man coverage:
“That wasn’t his fault at all, that’s mostly just how we do things here. We don’t see a lot of backs releasing out of the backfield for whatever reason. I never worried about Logan playing man because in practice he did it very well. But in overall it wasn’t in our game plan to run a lot of man”
On the ability to create pressure in blitz:
“That’s one of the things, looking back, that we really wanted to do more. Because of how explosive he is and the moves he makes are so dramatic, whether it’s punch and shed, flip his hips, you know looking back on it we should’ve probably done it more. But honestly, we wanted him more back in coverage because we really liked him there a lot.”
On whether he hit his ceiling during 4 years of starting
“I don’t think the progression stopped at all. 2019 was the best season he had, which was really exciting to see. Logan kept getting more confident last year. It’ll be really good for him to get new coaches around him too because he takes in what you say. I tell you what he doesn’t forget that stuff: One time we were game planning about week 10 and I brought up something where he goes “yeah you brought that up in fall camp” – and one time in fall I camp I actually did bring that one thing up and didn’t talk about it for the next 3 months, so when I brought it up he was like “we already covered that”. He takes in all the coaching you give him.”
On coming from Mountain West and translating to the NFL:
“I believe he can have an impact immediately. I would be surprised if he doesn’t. In the Mountain West, you know, it’s not SEC, but we do have some talent, and even when we played power-5 schools over the years, those were games where he (Logan) played his best. I have no personal worry about him adjusting to the new level. A lot of that comes from humble confidence, he put in the work, and he will be ready for his chance.”
Whether Wilson would be a fit on Eagles defense:
“Eagles LBs obviously play off-ball defense, and really that’s where Logan thrives, it allows him to play with speed and sort through things. Coverage wise we ran a lot of zone in games and also man in practice. We were never worried about that. I think he could be a great fit. Of course, there is more complexity to an NFL defense, but we honestly throw a lot at our LBs and he was always able to grab and translate well.”
Thank you so much to Coach Aaron Bohl of Wyoming University for his participation in this interview!
Mandatory Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rick Scuteri