Kirk Herbstreit believes Zach Wilson has the makeup to thrive in New York. Herbstreit, the ESPN college football analyst, recently spent time with Wilson to film his new TV show “QB21 with Kirk
Kirk Herbstreit believes Zach Wilson has the makeup to thrive in New York.
Herbstreit, the ESPN college football analyst, recently spent time with Wilson to film his new TV show “QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit.” Herbstreit came away impressed with what he heard from the BYU quarterback, who is expected to be selected No. 2 overall by the Jets in the 2021 NFL Draft on April 29.
“I’d be careful of looking at him with his baby face and growing up in Utah and judging the cover of book on what you see,” Herbstreit said. “This kid’s got some good wiring. I love guys that are out to prove everybody wrong, and I think he’s not emotional about it … and [on] social media you’ll see it’s nothing like that. It’s like an internal fire that’s burning that I think is real.”
One of the questions regarding Wilson is how he will do as the face of a New York franchise after growing up in Utah and playing at BYU. Herbstreit said he saw a motivated player.
“You know how that is, trying to predict how a player, whether it’s baseball or football or basketball, how they’re going to project from a personality standpoint into that market,” Herbstreit said. “I was impressed. When I had a chance to sit down with all these guys and what I liked about Zach Wilson is this guy has a chip on his shoulder. He wears a wristband that says, ‘Prove them wrong’, and I was like, who are you trying to prove wrong my man, like everyone loves you. But he wasn’t recruited heavily. He grew up in Salt Lake. His dad played at Utah. Utah didn’t recruit him. And I think, from that point on, he had a chip on his shoulder and he has not let it go.”
The “QB21” episode with Wilson is scheduled to air Tuesday at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.
The big knock on Wilson is the level of competition he faced in 2020. BYU did not play any Power Five conference opponents. So Wilson’s gaudy stats (33 touchdowns, three interceptions) and his rapid improvement have raised some eyebrows.
“As far as the concern about who they played, you know the guy started for three years,” Herbstreit said. “He played in some big games. He took a step at a whole different level this year, obviously some of that maybe had to do with their competition. I think some of it had to do with just, they were better.”
Herbstreit said the quality of opponents should not be held against Wilson.
“I don’t think it takes away from the player that he is based on the way I saw him grow from Year 1 to Year 2,” he said, “and then having an entire offseason to get stronger and get physically better and the commitment to work on his game is there, and I don’t think it’ll change. I don’t know if he’s going to end up being the guy we all seem to be assuming — that he’s the guy that New York’s going to take — but if you end up getting him, I think he can handle the market. We’ll see, and I think you’re going to fall in love with the kid as far as his attitude and determination.”
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Brian Costello