Junior Jarrod Wilson, Safety
Hometown: Akron Buchtel HS; Akron, OH
Height/Weight: 6'2, 205 lbs.
Three Things To Know About Jarrod
1. Michigan had a leg up in the recruitment of Jarrod, a safety out of Akron, OH. That was his high school coach, former Michigan running back Ricky Powers. Powers, the three time Big Ten champ and one time all-Big Ten performer ultimately helped guide the four star safety to Michigan.
2. Jarrod has had a big rise over the last year. At the outset of fall camp last season Michigan's coaches were down on Wilson* and actively worked to fill his position with an upperclassman. When Wilson made it on the field, he acquitted himself well and eventually became a mainstay in the lineup — the same couldn't be said, strangely enough, for senior Thomas Gordon, who took Wilson's place in the doghouse.
Fortunately for us fans, Wilson's rise has continued in the offseason. He recently won the Frederick Mathaei Award for, "leadership, drive and achievement on the athletic field and in the classroom." With Michigan needing to break in a new safety next to Wilson, having him there for experience and a steady hand will be very nice for a defense that should be very stout up front.
3. If you need any more proof that Wilson should be pretty good, take it from none other than the best MIchigan safety of the past decade, Jordan Kovacs:
"He's come in and picked up the defense really, really well. That's one of the things he's got the football smarts and as a defensive back you really need that," Kovacs said. "Don't get me wrong, there are things he needs to get cleaned up and improved on, but I'm definitely impressed with how much he's progressed and how good of a ballplayer he is as a senior in high school. He has a lot more time here and I expect big things in the future."
That quote is from April 2012, a few months after Wilson had enrolled early and had been in spring practice for a short spell. With two years in the program, Wilson has had a chance to work out those kinks. He should be ready for a big year this year.
*(Whether this was a motivational tactic or a real belief that Courtney Avery and Josh Furman were better suited for playing time over Wilson is unknown, but I tend to think it was a lot more of the first).