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NY Post
New York Post
2 Sep 2023

NextImg:Jets’ Garrett Wilson wants to deliver on star expectations: ‘Ain’t done nothing yet’

Catch a rising star, who wears No. 17 and catches passes from Aaron Rodgers.

Garrett Wilson was Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2022, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone around the Jets who doesn’t believe that he is destined for greatness.

New York is a star town, and Garrett Wilson has star written all over him.

“I don’t think I’m a star,” Wilson told The Post at his locker. “I just play football. I do it well, luckily, and I’m thankful for all my fans. But I don’t think that I’m a star in this town. There’s so many stars in this town, actual stars and stuff that I definitely ain’t.”

But Wilson is so driven, with so many natural gifts, that it is a good bet he definitely will be.

“I ain’t done nothing yet,” he said.

“I gotta prove myself and just make sure I’m taking big steps, man.”

Jets receiver Garrett Wilson works out at practice this week.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

Rodgers has likened his new No. 17 to his old No. 17 in Green Bay, Davante Adams, due to his lightning release at the line of scrimmage. Randall Cobb played with both Rodgers and Adams in Green Bay.

“I got a lot of respect for ’Te and I got a lot of respect for G. and what he was able to do this past year, and I think he has the potential to be great in this league for a long time,” Cobb told The Post.

“I hate the [Michael] Jordan verse Kobe [Bryant] to Jordan versus LeBron [James], I hate all those comparisons, ’cause I think that when greatness is around you, you gotta accept it for what it is, and I’ve seen greatness from [Wilson], and it’s about him continuing to refine who he is and refine his game and continue to take it to another level.”

    To Wilson, that kind of flattery is meaningful, but it isn’t what satisfies him.

    “That’s awesome, man, that’s awesome,” Wilson said. “But I gotta go out and prove it every day, every time I take the field that I’m even worthy of being in the same sentence as a player like that, and that’s what I plan to do.”

    He does it every practice, and he does it against the 2022 Defensive Player of the Year and bosom buddy, cornerback Sauce Gardner.

    “He wants to win every time, that’s what makes it so competitive, that’s what makes it so hard on both of us,” Gardner told The Post. “We both got the same winning mentality.”

    The two of them are wired the same way.

    Garrett Wilson catches a touchdown against the Giants in the preseason.
    Garrett Wilson catches a touchdown against the Giants in the preseason.
    Robert Sabo for NY Post

    “He takes coaching well, and he just wants to be the best,” Gardner said. “When you got a guy like that who is trying to perfect his craft mentally and physically outside of when it’s required, that’s always gonna be a guy that’s destined for greatness.”

    Cobb couldn’t agree more.

    “I love his work ethic, the way that he comes to work,” Cobb said. “The way that he is so dialed in to getting better every single day. He already had natural raw talent, but he’s coachable, he’s learning, he’s putting in the time — he has all the gifts, but you see him doing the other stuff. When a lot of talent rely solely on their talent, he’s one that I continue to see every day putting in the work to make his craft sharper.”

    Gardner said he understands exactly why it is no picnic covering Wilson.

    “He plays outside of the framework of his body,” Gardner said. “Sometimes he knows when and when not to. He knows his strong suits.

    “It’s kind of scary guarding him sometimes.

    “Be able to have that wiggle and then get out of your breaks fast as well. Usually, guys who get out of their breaks fast, they’re probably more in control or thinking about what they’re gonna do next. He reacts, and that’s what makes him so scary.”

    Wilson is a 6-foot, 192-pound gazelle who plays the game with an abundance of athletic arrogance.

    “He has the size, he has the speed, he has the quickness,” Cobb said. “He’s great off the line of scrimmage. He’s really gifted in being able to move defenders and get back into his route with speed. He creates a lot of separation at the top of his routes, he’s really crafty, and the way that he runs his routes, he does a great job at the catch point. He has the range of a Calvin Johnson — he can get a ball anywhere near him. It’s pretty special.”

    Rodgers lauded Wilson for his hands on their preseason touchdown connection against the Giants.

    “That makes you unguardable,” Cobb said. “If a defender is right beside you, even if it’s a tight window, being able to be late with your hands and make an incredible catch that he made on that touchdown, and being able to rip the ball away from the defender and not give him a chance to break it up, that’s huge as a receiver.”

    Garrett Wilson celebrates his touchdown catch against the Giants in the preseason.
    Garrett Wilson celebrates his touchdown catch against the Giants in the preseason.
    Bill Kostroun/New York Post

    Wilson then pointed out what he would love peewee football players to notice about how he plays.

    “That he loves it, that he plays it with passion and that’s what makes it so fun, so enjoyable for him to watch,” he said, “but also that’s what makes him jump out on film when you watch, because the passion he plays with, I want for people to be able to watch and see it.”

    Wilson went to dinner with Adams in June.

    “We talk on Instagram a good amount,” he said. “We talk when we can.”

    It should be no surprise that Wilson was eager to receive advice from the six-time Pro Bowler.

    Garrett Wilson catches a pass at Jets practice this week.
    Garrett Wilson catches a pass at Jets practice this week.
    Bill Kostroun/New York Post

    “He’s got so many nuggets to drop on me, it’s hard to pinpoint one thing. … Just that you can do it your own way, it’s always a million ways to skin a cat,” Wilson said. “He’s been the best receiver in the league for five, six years now. ’Cause of the way he goes about his business, maybe he gets talked about a little less. So he just told me to stay true to myself, and always know what you stand for and don’t get caught up in it.”

    Wilson can understand perfectly why Rodgers missed Adams when the Packers traded him to the Raiders before last season.

    “Davante’s one of the best release players in the league, man,” Wilson said. “I like to think if I can do anything close to that, I’ll be all right.”

    Wilson’s personal goals for this season are centered around winning a Super Bowl.

    “We got all the pieces in place,” Wilson said. “Just do my job, win some games, and let’s see where we’re at at the end of the season.”

    Catch a rising star.