Elusiveness has always been in Zach Wilson’s blood
The defining highlight of the New York Jets‘ Week 16 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars was undoubtedly the 52-yard touchdown run mustered up by quarterback Zach Wilson in the first quarter. It set the tone for an eventual 26-21 victory and is the longest rush by a quarterback in franchise history.
While the tantalizing athleticism showcased by Wilson on the play may have caught many fans off guard, it was not a shocking sight for Wilson’s mother, Lisa, who has been watching Zach’s majestic feats of elusiveness for his entire life.
Zach Wilson’s pee wee highlights are freaking electric
— Cool Your Jets (@CYJpod) December 28, 2021
“(Zach) has always been shifty,” Lisa’s caption for the video reads.
Watching that classic clip has to feel like déjà vu for Jets fans. Wilson pulled out some eerily similar jukes on his aforementioned 52-yard touchdown run against Jacksonville.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) December 26, 2021
As one would expect from watching the clip shared by his mother, rushing was a big part of Wilson’s game growing up. During his senior year at Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah, Wilson ran for 752 yards and eight touchdowns in 10 games, according to MaxPreps, averaging 75.2 rushing yards per game and 6.3 yards per carry.
Wilson was not quite as prolific in college for the BYU Cougars, but he remained an effective rusher. Counting out sacks, Wilson ran 50 times for 353 yards and 10 touchdowns during his breakout junior year in 2020. His total of 10 rushing scores ranked fourth-best among FBS quarterbacks.
This past Sunday’s 52-yard explosion against Jacksonville is the crown jewel of a recent rushing resurgence for Wilson, who is starting to get back to his roots as a dynamic user of his legs.
After averaging 3.7 rushing yards per game with no touchdowns over his first six NFL starts, Wilson is averaging 27.8 rushing yards per game over his past five starts, scoring four rushing touchdowns over that span. Wilson’s total of four rushing scores leads all quarterbacks since his return from injury in Week 12.
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In Week 17, Wilson will try to continue his success on the ground against a Tampa Bay defense that has allowed the second-most rushing yards to quarterbacks this season (25.3 per game).