As a local product out of Austin, Lake Travis wide receiver Garrett Wilson has spent quite a bit of time on the University of Texas campus and around the Longhorns coaching staff. With Wilson being one of the nation’s top prospects in the 2019 class, the UT staff welcomes him in for a visit with open arms any time it can.
On Sunday, during a Texas junior day, Wilson spent several hours in the UT football facilities connecting with the Texas coaching staff, but this time there was a new twist to the visit. Wilson was accompanied by both his parents, who got their first real opportunity to get to know Texas head coach Tom Herman.
“It was a great visit. I got to connect with the coaches. It was the first time my parents have ever met him,” Wilson said. “I feel like they came out knowing a lot more than they did before, a lot more fond of this whole program. It was a great time.”
There weren’t necessarily a lot new elements presented to the 6-1, 175-pound Wilson during Sunday’s visit. As he said, he’s familiar enough with Texas that one visit wasn’t going to dramatically change his opinion. But the junior day visit did benefit the Longhorns in that Wilson’s parents become more acclimated and more comfortable with the Texas program.
“I’ve spent enough time down here where I know what Texas is about. So now it’s my parents,” Wilson said. “It’s my decision, but also I want my parents to be with me 100 percent on that. So I feel like they are now.”
During a lengthy meeting with Herman and the UT assistants, Wilson said it was stressed to him that the Longhorns are trying to rebuild the program with talent like his from within the Lone Star State. If they can do that consistently, Wilson said, the coaches feel they’ll be able to return Texas to national prominence and a championship level.
“Just keeping Texas in Texas. They feel like if they do that, they’re going to be a top-notch program like they were before,” Wilson said. “They feel like they started that in the 2018 class and they’re hoping to do that in years to come.”
Wilson will take an unofficial visit to Ohio State on March 23 and official visit to OSU in June. He visited Oklahoma on Saturday and will return to Norman for an official visit, possibly the weekend of April 14. Return visits to Texas are also expected, and Wilson will take a UT official visit as well. His plan is to commit in the summer.
In previous conversations with Orangebloods.com, Wilson listed Texas and Ohio State as the two programs tied for the lead. After Saturday’s stop in Norman, it’s now a three-horse race.
“I’d say you can add Oklahoma in there,” Wilson said.
Texas’ recruiting efforts are being bolstered by 2019 quarterback commitment Roschon Johnson. While in Austin last weekend, Johnson hooked up with Wilson and fellow Austin receiver Elijah Higgins for a little pitch and catch. Johnson has stayed in touch with Wilson since then, including a little good-natured ribbing over the weekend.
“I threw with Roschon last week. Me and Elijah (Higgins) did. He saw me at OU yesterday and he automatically texted me 'Boooo' and stuff like that,” Wilson said. “I can’t get away with anything.”
As one of the nation’s top prospects, Wilson is a dynamic player on both sides of the ball, but his future likely lies on offense, where he’s one of the country’s top receivers. Last year, as a junior, Wilson filled up the stat sheet on offense to the tune of 98 receptions for 1,774 yards and 26 touchdowns. He added 122 yards and 3 scores on the ground.
“They (Texas) said I’m versatile so they don’t have a position. They know I want to play receiver, play on the offensive side of the ball, so that sounds good to me,” Wilson said. “But they said with my ability, they just want to have me on the field so I felt really good about that.”