Southern Lee's Wilson earns scholarship from Wake Forest
Southern Lee rising senior Garrett Wilson works at his craft on the football field year-round. It's a job which is very skilled and technical, but often overlooked, at least from the stands.
Wilson's ability and dedication isn't taken for granted a bit by the Cavalier coaches, and clearly not by coaches and scouts at the next level.
Wilson accepted a football scholarship from Wake Forest University earlier this month primarily as a future long snapper for the Demon Deacons.
"I'm elated for Garrett," said Southern Lee head coach Don Simon. "This is huge for him and his family, especially when considering it's a school like Wake Forest.
"Garrett is one of the nicest, hardest-working kids I've had the pleasure of coaching in 19, almost 20 years now, of coaching. If you want the epitome of hard work, it's Garrett and he deserves this," said Simon.
Wilson, at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, is listed as a wide receiver on the Cavalier roster. He's put in all sorts of extra effort, including travel to camps and showcases all over the country, as a long snapper. According to Chris Sailer Kicking/Rubio Long Snapping, Wilson is the 11th best long snapper in the nation in the 2015 high school class.
Wilson's work to improve, and be noticed, has included going to Chris Rubio's nationwide camp in Las Vegas this past spring. Wake Forest extended the scholarship offer following a camp there earlier this month and Wilson accepted it.
Having a player such Wilson take on, then excel at, a specialty spot such as long snapping means, "one less thing a coach has to worry about," Simon said.
"We know, with the work he's done, we can count on him when things are on the line," said Simon.
"We have three or four kids in our program who do an outstanding job doing the dirty work, so it means a lot when one of them gets rewarded like this," he said. "These are the kind of kids we're looking for."
A scholarship to an ACC program should be great motivation for other Cavaliers to take note of, their coach said. Wilson started long snapping - not exactly a glamorous spot on the field or for a team - and puts everything he can into it.
"He focused on improving constantly. He's fallen in love with it, and now it's going to pay for school for him," said Simon.
"It shows our kids, and all kids around, everywhere, that if you're good at what you do and put the hard work in, colleges will find you," he said.
Wilson's academic work is a major part of earning a shot to play for the Demon Deacons.
"For (Wilson), academics always comes first," said Simon, saying it's one more clear case of effort paying in a deserved way.
Wilson takes advanced placement courses and is aiming to graduate a semester early, enroll at Wake Forest in January 2015, and begin working in the classroom and on the field toward the 2015-16 football season.