Topeka’s Wilson honoring fathers legacy as NFL tryout awaits

Topeka’s Wilson honoring fathers legacy as NFL tryout awaits

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Seven years after graduating from Washburn Rural High School, Collin Wilson is getting a chance to impress NFL scouts first-hand.

Wilson’s journey has been rather unusual, it’s one that is full of trials. His college football career began rather normally with a redshirt season in the fall of 2017. The fall of 2018 he showed some major signs of potential before breaking out in 2019 with more than 500 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.

Then, the COVID pandemic shut down the Ichabods’ 2020 campaign. In 2021, he planned to play football elsewhere before getting sick and sitting out a second fall in a row, reserving another year of eligibility. He went back to Washburn, rejoining the team for the 2022 season, but the rough times didn’t stop. He played just six games before breaking his collar bone.

Wilson, not wanting to be done with football just yet, returned for one final ride with Washburn in 2023. Injury stuck again. He tore the UCL in his thumb, which required surgery just four weeks into the season.

“There’s definitely some dark times in there,” Wilson told 27 News. “Times where I’m like ‘Am I doing the right thing? Is this what I was called to do, or am I supposed to start my nursing career and go help people?’ It was tough. I knew football was something I loved, something I wanted to do since the day I committed to play football at Washburn so I just stuck through it.”

Sticking through it paid off in the form of an invite to Broncos minicamp. Wilson flies to Denver on Thursday, May 9 to workout in front of pro coaches/ scouts over the weekend.

“I knew it was going to be a long-shot to get an opportunity but I was confident in my skillset,” he said. “I’ve put up some good plays, some good film, what I feel like is NFL caliber… I just was like ‘I don’t want to live the rest of my life not knowing what if I would’ve stuck it out.’ So it’s been worth it to me.”

Wilson, who’s been making plays on football fields in Topeka virtually his whole life, says his coaches and teammates at Washburn helped him through those tough times.

However, injuries and canceled seasons in college were far from Wilson’s first taste of tough times. He lost his dad when he was just 10-years-old.

“That was a big part in me sticking with Washburn and finishing my career there,” he said. “It meant a lot to me to go finish what I started and now to get an opportunity [out of] Washburn so I know he’s proud at this point.”

Wilson’s dad played basketball for the Ichabods, winning a national title in 1987. He died of heat stroke before Collin Wilson even got to middle school.

Wilson says his father is the one who instilled a love for sports into his life and is a motivating factor in his refusal to give up on football.

The former Junior Blue and Ichabod is slated for meetings with Broncos personnel on Thursday before workouts on Friday and Saturday.

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