One Last Time: Logan Wilson Is About Us, Not Me—Skipping Arizona Bowl Was Not An Option
This is the 7th in a series of articles on Cowboy seniors who will make their final appearance in Brown & Gold on New Years Eve in the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl.
TUCSON — Logan Wilson grew up wanting to be a Cowboy. And now that he is, the Natrona County High School product wants to savor every last moment of his eye-opening career as a linebacker at the University of Wyoming.
It has been a trendy thing for potential high-profile draft choices to decide to skip bowl games in recent years. It was never a consideration from Wilson, whose only Division I offer coming out of high school was to Wyoming—which, truth be told, was the only one he ever wanted.
"The first time I was asked about it was two weeks ago in practice by him," he said, pointing to head coach Craig Bohl. "It's not something I had thought about. It is not who I am.
"It is important for me to show I'm a team guy, not a selfish guy, not putting my body at risk for my teammates. I owe Coach Bohl for allowing me to play for this program. He gave me an opportunity five years ago, the opportunity of a lifetime, to earn a meaningful degree and to play football at the highest level."
That's the way Wilson grew up, and it's not about changing now. His stature in football, however, has certainly changed. A defensive back/wide receiver/quarterback/placekicker in high school, he not only made the transition to linebacker during his days in Laramie, but he surfaced on the NFL radar.
He was a three-year captain for the Cowboys, selected by his teammates. He was a first-team All-MWC selection this year. He was selected a first-team All-American by Pro Football Focus, Second Team by USA Today and Third Team by the Association Press.
He was the only one of the six finalists for the Butkus Award from a non-Automonous Five conference team. He ranks fourth in Wyoming history with 414 career tackles.
And, truth be told, his team-first mentality is likely going to be a positive for NFL teams on draft days, from what Bohl has been told in conversations with NFL scouting directors and general managers.
“It really has proven to be a valuable asset because whether you’re playing football at the professional level, the collegiate level or the high school level, it’s a team game,” Bohl said. “So many of the general managers are looking at what kind of guys we’re going to invest in a draft pick and what kind of guy is going to be in our locker room.
"A couple years ago we had a quarterback named Josh Allen, who is now playing for the Buffalo Bills (who played in the Holliday Bowl two years ago), and that spoke in his favor. (The Bills) were looking for the right fit for their organization. There was some pressure on Josh to not play, just like Logan. It actually helped their standing.
"You hear all this that you may get injured. Teams are looking at it as they are investing in a football player who wants to be a team player, who is not afraid of contact."
If that's the case, Wilson fits the bill. It is how he approach life. He works to accomplish his goals, whether it is in the classroom, on the football field or in another venue. And he has exceeded his own expectations.
"I never thought I would be where I am right now, but I wouldn't say it happened by chance," he said. "I put my head down and work. It is how I was raised by my parents. Put in the work. Do all the little things the right way."
And he has brought his approach to life to a Cowboy locker room that when he arrived five years ago was dysfunctional, at best. He was part of Bohl's second recruiting class, a critical brick in the path to a remake of the Cowboy Culture.
"To see where we are as a program now is night and day from when I got here," said Wilson. "To be a small part of that as a Wyoming kid means a lot. When I first got here whe had guys fighting in practice.
"Guys had the me mentality, the, ‘I need to do everything I can do so I can get to the next level.' Now it's about the team. Everyone wants to do their small part to help us win."
And as Wilson has learned, that small part can lead to a big opportunity—a potential NFL opportunity for the kid from Casper, who took his home state pride onto the field with him at the the state's only university.