It's the Wilson Way: Latest Honors Are Nice --Beating Air Force on Saturday Would be Nicer

Tracy Ringolsby

LARAMIE -- Five years ago, Logan Wilson showed up on campus, a 185-pound defensive back from Natrona County High School, living a dream, getting a chance to play football at the University of Wyoming.

All he wanted to do was make sure he did a job that the coaching staff and state of Wyoming would appreciate.

As he prepares for the last regular-season game of his career -- Wyoming at Air Force on Saturday -- what Wilson has done more than he ever expected. He has established himself as not only one of the best players in Wyoming history, but one of the elite linebackers in all of college football.

How good? Good enough that on Monday he was told that he is one of the six finalists for the Butkus Award, given annually to the linebacker considered the best in the country.

He is the only one of the finalist who is not from a Power 5 School. The other finalists are Zack Baun, Wisconsin; Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech; Micah Parsons, Penn State, Isaiah Simmons, Clemson, and Evan Weaver, California.

"I am so excited for him," said Jake Dickert, the Cowboys defensive coordinator/linebacker coach. "The guy was not even preseason All-Conference. To finally get his due is nice for him."

And it wasn't the only recognition Wilson received on Monday. College Sports Madness named Wilson its Mountain West Players of the Week for his performance in Wyoming’s 17-7 win over Colorado State.

It was an impressive effort, capped up by ending CSU's final drive of the game with his fourth interception of the season. efore that he had eight tackles, five solo tackles, moving him into fourth place on both Wyoming and the Mountain West Conference career tackle list with 404.

And then came the Monday accolades.

"It is an indication of the development of our program," said head coach Craig Bohl. "Logan was never heavily recruited, He played cornerback for Natronal County.

"I think the the program has done a good job developing him and most importantly, he bought into it. It's great to see your guy get national attention. When you start running with that crowd is is an indication people respect what is going on in the Mountain West and also know what is going on at Wyoming."

And it shows the national folks know what is going on with the evolution of the 250-pound Wilson, who would seem a cinch to be playing on Sunday's come next fall.

"Nobody deserves more recognition than Logan," said Bohl. "Logan's major concern is about the Cowboys. He is not a guy trying to gain a lot of national honors."

Far from it. Wilson is all about the success of the Cowboys, downplaying his vital role in the transformation of this team that went 2-10 in his redshirt year, but has put together four consecutive non-losing seasons with him on the active roster, and is hopeful of a third bowl appearance in four years.

Wilson is a key part of the team success. And the nation is taking notice, underscored by his recognition for last weekend.

"It is very cool not only for me, but cool for the state of Wyoming and our University," he said. "To get the national recognition for the University is a big thing. I owe a lot to coach Bohl and his staff and the University for giving me the chance to come here."

Wilson said there are no plans to celebrate the recognition -- at least not now. His focus is no on personal accoldates. His focus is on Saturday and the game at Air Force, a game that could open the door for the Cowboys to claim one of the five Mountain West guaranteed bowl berths, and voiding having to wait and hope that another conference can't fullfil its commitment and a bowl bid opens up that can be offered to a Mountain West member.

As Wilson put it, "It is cool to be a finalist (for the Butkus Award), but right now the focus on what we have to do to beat Air Force."

That's Wilson's way.

It's not about him. It never has been. It's about Wyoming -- the state and the University -- and whatever he can do for the betterment of both.

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