Wilson shines on both sides of ball

Junior receiver/cornerback Khalil Wilson gets into his defensive stance before the Northwood quarterback snaps the ball.
Junior receiver/cornerback Khalil Wilson gets into his defensive stance before the Northwood quarterback snaps the ball.
Patrick Agustin

Junior football wide receiver and safety Khalil Wilson has been performing at the top of his game during the month of September. Wilson, a two-year varsity starter for the Rockets, has been nothing but excellent to start the season. He has done it all, from scoring on offense, making big plays, getting defensive stops and scoring on defense. 

In the team’s home opener, Wilson started off strong with an interception merely five minutes into the game. Despite Wilsons hot start to the game, he remained a team player throughout the rest of the game

“The only thing that was going through my mind was to continue to execute,” Wilson said. “My team had a rough start but [we] picked it up throughout the game and…needed to continue to execute in order to finish out the game.” 

Just minutes later, Wilson made another big play for his team by forcing a fumble on the opponent’s side of the field leading to excellent field position for the offense. While dominating on defense, he also added to the Rockets 53 points with a 37-yard rushing touchdown. 

Story continues below advertisement

“It feels amazing, especially because we started off last season off 0-1,” Wilson said.

Wilson continued to show his dominance into the week two matchup against Walter Johnson. Wilson started the game off strong with a 37-yard receiving touchdown. He continued his dominance on defense with an interception returned for a touchdown, numerous tackles for loss and big hits. 

Khalil’s anticipation and natural instincts are what differentiate him from others. He has a good feel for the game and is able to anticipate routes from receivers.

— Coach Nick Coates

Wilson suffered an injury to his ribs, which sidelined him for the week three matchup versus the Northwest Jaguars, but that did not hold him back in the week four matchup versus Northwood. Wilson came out the gates hot with a long receiving touchdown, but the scoring didn’t stop there. Wilson had two interceptions returned for touchdowns. All of Wilson’s scores came in just the first quarter. 

“Khalil is a great competitor and has great athletic ability. He is a three-sport varsity athlete,” RM Football coach Nick Coates said. “He plays and competes year-round. I attribute a lot of his instincts to playing basketball and football most of his life.”

While only being a junior, Wilson can make a lot of plays other juniors can’t seem to be able to. “He can take a 2-yard pass and turn it into a touchdown, which he showed he could do on Saturday [vs Walter Johnson],” Coach Coates said. 

Alongside playing football, Wilson is a member of the varsity basketball team. “Both [sports] are a team sport,” Wilson said. “Basketball requires a lot of conditioning and communicating with my teammates, which also is required in football.”

Wilson’s skills are not the only thing helping him on the field. “Khalil’s anticipation and natural instincts are what differentiate him from others,” Coach Coates said. “He has a good feel for the game and is able to anticipate routes from receivers or coverages from defensive backs.”

Being such a dominant athlete requires much more than just talent. “Khalil’s work ethic is great, and he’s always looking to become a better player day in and day out,” senior linebacker Lamine Kaba said. “He always keeps a positive outlook and enjoys every situation he’s in.” 

Goals are a huge part of success in sports, and they are a larger key to growing as an athlete and person. “My goal for this season is to be first team all county,” Wilson said. “To be above .500, win multiple playoff games and to get better overall as a player.”

More to Discover