Terry Wilson, a senior from Oklahoma City and a transfer from the University of Kentucky football program, won a spirited battle to become the starting quarterback for the UNM football program.
As a high school player for Del City, Wilson was ranked as a three-star recruit and the 40th-best player in the class of 2018 by 247Sports.
At Kentucky, Wilson recorded a number of milestones for a program not known for having great football teams; he is the only quarterback in school history to have 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards, and is one of three Wildcat quarterbacks to get 20 career touchdowns. Over his three seasons at Kentucky, Wilson went 17-8 as starting quarterback, was second on Kentucky’s career list for all-time in wins and served as team captain for his last two seasons.
Head coach Danny Gonzales made it clear at a press conference on Aug. 30 that he knew last season that he needed to find a graduate transfer quarterback that had experience winning football games at a high level; this, he said, would be essential for the football program to improve. Now that the team has Wilson, they have been given the keys to the offense.
“The quarterback depth chart goes like this: (Wilson), and then there’s an ‘or’ after everybody else’s name,” Gonzales said.
This has translated to the rapport that Wilson has with the rest of the team, especially with the offensive group.
“I feel like that's the most important thing about playing football … you have got to have that relationship; that ‘hey I’m going to go to war with you’ ... you have to be able to trust (your teammates),” Wilson said.
While New Mexico has much different scenery than Kentucky, Wilson said the game is still the game regardless of where he’s at because “at the end of the day, it’s football.”
“I would say that the atmosphere is different just coming from the (Southeastern Conference) to the Mountain West,” Wilson said.
On UNM’s schedule, Wilson said the team is taking it “one game at a time.”
“As long as we do our jobs, we will be able to beat anybody we need to beat,” Wilson said.
This is a philosophy that Gonzales has instilled within the program, and one that Wilson intends to follow.
With the Lobos’ first opponent being Houston Baptist, a school from the NCAA Division 1 Championship subdivision, Wilson said the offense must be prepared to score a lot of points.
“We know that they have some playmakers over there and we just have to focus on what we have to do,” Wilson said. “I believe in our game plan that (offensive coordinator Derek) Warehime has put together for us.”
Matthew Salcido contributed reporting to this article.
Spencer Butler is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @SpencerButler48