BYU football QB Zach Wilson confident with where he’s at after offseason surgery
As soon as it became clear that BYU sophomore quarterback Zach Wilson had gone through offseason shoulder surgery, Cougar fans started speculating on just how bad things were.
Wilson answered some of those questions after BYU’s spring camp practice on Thursday, explaining that it was a lingering problem that led to the procedure.
“It was an injury from high school, from over-use and over-throwing,” Wilson said. “Practice was the roughest part. After games it was just super-sore. It seemed like it may have been getting worse but it didn’t affect me in any way with throwing in a game. Even if I could’ve fought through it, I figured it was something I should get fixed. Better to do it now than down the road.”
He said that he’s satisfied with how his body has responded to the surgery at this point.
“The shoulder is doing well,” Wilson said. “Hopefully it will be better than it was. I’m thinking I’ll start throwing in a couple of months. I’ll slowly be working into more rehab protocol of strengthening the muscles around it. I’ll have to talk to the doctor but hopefully I’ll be back into it in a couple of months.
He may not be able to sling it around during practice right now but the Cougar sophomore said he’s determined to make himself better in other ways.
“I’ve been replacing my time with football with watching film,” Wilson said. “I’ve been watching not just BYU from last year but a ton of any team. These quarterbacks who have been with a team for a ton of time will switch certain protections. Seeing how quarterbacks go through progressions and make certain throws against certain coverages. That’s almost the biggest thing about being quarterback. It’s not about who throws the best ball but about who understands the game fully.”
He is also trying to take on a mentoring role with the other quarterbacks, which in turn helps him stay focused.
“I’ve got to mentally stay involved with a lot of things,” Wilson said. “These things start to fall off if you don’t keep up with the signals or calls or protections or whatever it is. I’m making sure I’m engaged no matter who is out there.”
The competitor inside him has to fight the frustration of being on the sideline.
“It sucks just to watch,” Wilson said. “Every day watching film I wish so bad I could be out here playing. But it is just spring ball and it’s early. I know we have time until fall camp, so I’m just grateful I can be out here learning. Hopefully I’m improving still.”
He said he’s pleased with the improvement he has seen from the quarterbacks who have been getting the reps.
“They’ve all done a great job,” Wilson said. “They have progressed every day and they are getting more comfortable with the offense. They are starting to learn new things that maybe they didn’t know Day 1. They are all great guys, super-invested, and they all want to be great players which is awesome.”
BYU quarterbacks coach Aaron Roderick had good things to say about the trio of signal-callers who have gotten the majority of the snaps in camp.
“They’ve been doing a great job taking care of the ball,” Roderick said. “They have been throwing a lot of completions. Today we moved the ball up and down the field fairly well. Jaren Hall had a really good day, Joe Critchlow had a couple of nice plays as well and Baylor Romney does something every day that keeps him in the mix.”
Cougar head coach Kalani Sitake said Thursday that his guys are going to now get a little bit of a break as they reach the halfway point in camp.
“Our guys are ready for spring break — tomorrow,” Sitake said. “We get one day at BYU, so I’m glad they can take advantage of it. I told them they can go anywhere in the world. They just have to be back in time for classes.”