Getting to know Leatherneck football wide receiver J.D. Wilson



JD Wilson posing for the cameras.

Zach Zannelli, Courier Staff

Western Illinois football is gearing up and ready to go for the upcoming season. Due to COVID-19, the season has been pushed back to February. One player who is super pumped up and ready to go is J.D. Wilson, a wide receiver from Macomb, Illinois.

Wilson always had a dream to play football ever since he was a little kid and he will start his second year as a Western Illinois Fighting Leatherneck. Wilson’s favorite NFL players growing up were Brain Urlacher, a former Hall of Fame Chicago Bears linebacker who played for 13 years, and current star running back Christian McCaffrey, one of the best today on the Carolina Panthers who started playing in the NFL in 2017.

Due to the pandemic, he is staying prepared as the fall season is still at a halt. “Oh we’re ready right now,” said Wilson. “We’re actually getting ready for our first scrimmage tomorrow. So we’re really excited to get prepared for that. We got a lot of good new faces on the team and a lot of good returning faces. So we’re super prepared for this spring and we’re just excited to get going.”

Wilson said that him and the team are staying prepared during quarantine. “During quarantine we have been doing all we can to stay prepared for the upcoming season. We have been doing some home workouts. We have been trying to get onto the field as much as we can with all this stuff that is going on right now.” Wilson went on to say, “So it is kind of like give and take here we can get some work in and then now we have to ease off and we just got to focus on lifting or just work on speed work. So, were just trying to work around it and be prepared for the season.”

Wilson said that the best part about competing is working with his teammates. “The best part about competing is the brotherhood. That feeling you get when you are with your brothers and even if you are not the guy making the play. It is always uplifting.” Wilson went on to give his teammates high praise. “The team is what makes the game fun. If you are at practice and nobody has any energy and it is just kind of like, man this is practice, but my favorite part is when everyone starts to get going, treating like it is a game. It becomes the game that you love. You are playing and having a fun time. It is just like backyard football back in the day.”

Wilson has made a lot of football memories at Western. One of his first memorable moments he made was during practice going against his teammates. “I was on scout team and our QB at the time, his name is L.T. Beck, went back and I ran a post route and he threw it to me and I was it was about 40 to 50 yards deep and I ended up just reaching to dive for it and I ended up making the catch. I got up and I just saw my brothers and teammates just running up giving me shoulder bumps.“ Wilson said his first home game was a special moment for him. “Then the moment I felt like a made it is that the first home game, running out on Hanson Field and I just had this awesome excitement go through. All of the fans in the stands were cheering for us when we ran through and we went over to fist bump all of the military soldiers and veterans at the other end of the end zone and it was just so awesome
for me.”