Wilson, like many other quarterbacks, wears bracelets around his wrist during games. However, he uses the wristbands for far more than knowing which plays he needs to call at the line of scrimmage.
Zach Wilson keeps motivational messages on his wristbands
Zach Wilson doesn’t need to look any further than his wrists to be motivated every time he takes the field.
Wilson wore two detailed wristbands during his time at BYU. One read “Leave a Legacy,” which says it all. Shredding defenses at BYU and becoming the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft certainly goes a long way in leaving a legacy.
The other featured the words “Prove Them Wrong.” Wilson went under-recruited out of high school and dealt with injuries and inconsistency as a young quarterback at BYU. It wasn’t until 2020, his junior season, that he put things together.
Wilson used the wristbands to fuel him through his college career
In August 2020, few, if any, would have guessed Wilson would be a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. In fact, after an injury-plagued 2019 season, the third-year quarterback likely wasn’t on many draft boards even as a late-round prospect.
Enter the wristbands. In an attempt to leave a legacy and prove his critics wrong, Wilson completed 73.5% of his passes for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns, and three interceptions last season. He also ran for 10 touchdowns in 12 games.
In a 2020 interview with KSL Sports, Wilson explained how the wristbands helped motivate him during a stellar junior season.
“My whole life, I feel like I’ve always come from the bottom. I’ve never been the guy that’s had so many scholarship offers or was known as the big-time high school recruit. … It’s kind of a motto I’ve lived by my whole life. I came here to BYU, and no one expected me to play, and we had so many other quarterbacks in front of me. I got injured; no one expected me to come back from it.”Zach Wilson
Less than a year after winning a quarterback battle in college, Wilson signed a $35.1 million contract with the Jets. Again, that’s certainly a way to leave a legacy and prove them, whether it applies to teams that didn’t offer him or vocal critics of his play, wrong.
The Jets can only hope Wilson’s motivational wristbands help him succeed
Jets head coach Robert Saleh may not care if Wilson gets his motivation from wristbands, the Bible, or a pair of dirty socks so long as the second overall pick is everything the team hopes he’ll become.
This is a Jets organization in desperate need of a franchise quarterback. The Sam Darnold experiment lasted only three seasons. Mark Sanchez led the Jets to consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances before things fell apart. Chad Pennington started five playoff games in eight seasons with the Jets but also struggled to stay healthy.
The Jets haven’t had a semi-reliable franchise quarterback since Ken O’Brien, and even then, one could argue O’Brien didn’t even fill that role. Wilson is aware of the pressure that comes with playing in New York, much less the expectations that involve trying to save a beleaguered franchise.
If Wilson does win the Super Bowl, fans in attendance might catch a spare pair of gloves or a football. However, don’t expect to see either of Wilson’s wristbands flying into the stands. It sounds like they belong to him for good.