It was another offseason of growth for senior WR Roman Wilson. He opted in for another year with the Wolverines, fully confident that there was still much to prove and achieve. Wilson joined Jon Jansen on In the Trenches to talk more about his role as a senior on a loaded roster, his relationships with his teammates, and to reflect on his time in Ann Arbor.
Wilson’s growth stemmed from a season that ended in a way many didn’t think it would. For Wilson, he has often found himself at the crux of it all. An overturned touchdown in the second quarter of the Fiesta Bowl has left the senior with a lot to ponder, but now he shares the growth that he has seen stem from it. While the initial reaction was fueled with more disappointment than anything else, over the course of seven months, he sees it in a different light.
“I definitely tried to learn from it. Anything we work for can be taken away from us in a second,” he shared. “For me, it was a big wake-up type of moment. I feel like we just gotta keep building and win games like that, the ones you’re supposed to win but lose.”
With ideals for the upcoming season clear in mind, Wilson has further developed his relationship with his QB, while also fostering an environment for the young guys to succeed in.
“I try not to set too many goals for myself. Just being a guy so that when any opportunity I get, I am going to make sure I jump on it as soon as I can. I’m doing everything I can do to help this team or help the younger guys,” Wilson said.
For the guys new on the scene, Wilson has made it so that he is the resource they can rely on.
“I just tell them how it is, like with the coaches and quarterbacks, how to practice their attitude and how to be a better person,” Wilson said. “You’re not just out there being a young guy, you are in a position where you get to take reps with the starting quarterback. This is what you have to do, this is how fast you got to be.”
Though from what he has seen, the younger guys have an incredible ceiling and are ready to rise to the occasion.
“Coming into camp, I wasn’t really sure who was going to step up, but it was like man everyone stepped up,” Wilson admitted. “These freshmen are playing way higher than you think a freshman should be playing at. There’s a lot of guys when they get this chance with this offense, they just light up.”
On the other end of the spectrum is Wilson’s personal relationship with starting QB J.J. McCarthy. According to him, that was where he has grown substantially since last year.
“It’s great, spending a lot of time with him in the offseason really helped me out a lot,” he shared. “Really every time you see us out there, building a better friendship and getting to know him more as a person has really helped our relationship a lot. You saw it towards the end of last season, like before you know it the receiver is in the perfect spot and the ball is perfectly thrown, that’s the type of stuff you’ll see this year.”
Now for Wilson, it is gearing up for one final journey. From traveling to hostile environments to taking on some large foe at home, he’s ready to give it his all.
“Skies the limit for us and we can go all the way this year. Every position is so good. I don’t think you’ll see a better roster out there,” Wilson said.
With expectations for a three-peat conference championship and a national championship, the pressure is obvious, but, according to Wilson, that’s something that makes this team thrive.
“I think this team likes having a target on their back,” he said. “Playing a big team that really wants to beat us, like we want to beat them too. Knowing I am going into a hostile area where no one wants to see us win there, that’s the perfect spot for me. I feel like I play the best where no one wants to see me succeed.”
Entering his senior season, he shared how he cherishes the small moments of being all together. While he could easily pick anything off the highlight reel for his favorite moment at Michigan thus far, he chose the moments of waking up every day and going to work with his team.
“My favorite moment, I would say right now, is the way we get to step in this building every day, and how much brighter it looks and how happy the guys are. It’s easy to take it for granted,” Wilson said.