Zach Wilson, NY Jets, BYU
Zach Wilson, NY Jets, Getty Images

Zach Wilson was on hand to witness Brigham Young University’s season-opening victory

Eight days before he makes his regular-season debut for the New York Jets, Zach Wilson absconded to Las Vegas.

Jets fans need not worry, however, as Wilson’s trip to Sin City was in the name of nostalgic and inspirational purposes rather than debauchery.

The second overall pick of April’s draft was on hand to watch his alma mater of Brigham Young University partake in the Good Sam Vegas Kickoff Classic. His former compatriots kicked off the post-Wilson era on a positive note, topping the Arizona Wildcats 24-16 at Allegiant Stadium.

Wilson received a warm reception from the BYU contingent that made the trip when introduced on the stadium videoboards.

Though his on-field duties for the Cougars have come to an end, Wilson nonetheless played a special role in yet another victory. Per BYUtv’s Jarom Jordan, Wilson was present for the team’s pregame breakfast. Wilson was also more than happy to appeal to his Provo public, posing for photos with BYU fans in town for the kickoff contest.

Stationed on the Cougars sideline during the game, Wilson was seen by the side of his passing successor Jaren Hall throughout the night. The sophomore would throw for 198 yards and two touchdowns in the win, part of a Cougar scoring run that saw them go up by as much as 18.

Hall is set to carry the illustrious legacy of BYU passing, a treasured history that includes the antics of Wilson, Ty Detmer, Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Steve Sarkisian, and Taysom Hill, among others.

Wilson also spoke with ESPN sideline reporter Stormy Buonantony during third quarter action. He described Hall as a “great player” and discussed his goals for the Jets’ opener against the Carolina Panthers next Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

“(I) just want to go kind of go out there and get used to the whole field, the NFL game,” Wilson told Buonantony. “Just go out there and kind of put everything together that we’ve been working on since we’ve got going. I’m just excited to play ball. It’s a great job to have.”

Wilson also stated his plans to spend a little more time with the team in the postgame aftermath before returning to New York as prep for the Panthers continues.

BYU (1-0) is looking to build on a historic season. In Wilson’s final year at the passing helm, the independent Cougars won 11 games and finished 11th in the final Associated Press poll, accounting for their best such postings since 2009.

The Cougars will continue their in-state rivalry against No. 24 Utah next Saturday night in Provo (10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN), carrying on a rivalry series that dates back to 1896. The game will be part of the “Wilson Weekend,” an endeavor realized by JetBlue founder and Wilson’s uncle David Neelman that will charter flights to afford BYU fans a chance to see not only the annual “Holy War” showdown but also his nephew’s NFL regular-season debut in Charlotte.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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Geoff Magliocchetti is a veteran football writer with years of credentialed experience with the Jets and Giants. Email: geoffmags90@gmail.com

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