Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
Texas DE a leader on, off the field
University of Arkansas junior defensive end target Trey Wilson possesses the traits of a leader. It’s likely he’ll be a leader in college and whenever his playing days are over.
Wilson, 6-4, 235 pounds, of Garland (Texas) Lakeview Centennial has 11 scholarship offers from schools like Arkansas, Michigan, Arizona State, Baylor, Colorado, Oklahoma State.
“When you talk about Trey, you have to talk about the type person he is,” Lakeview Centennial Coach Anthony Saincilaire said. “I think that has to do with a lot of who he is. He works extremely hard. He’s one of the hardest working people in our program and defines what we want to be about and what we want to do as a program.”
He was able to earn his offers despite playing five games as a sophomore during a shortened covid-19 season.
“[Had he] played 11, 12 games…whatever, his name would’ve been all over the place, Saincilaire said. “He’s off to a great season this year, so it lets you know what kind of elite talent he has.”
Wilson’s mother Nikketta is the principal at nearby Webb Middle School, while his father Jay is a respiratory therapist. The engaging and personable Wilson credits his mother for him being a people person.
“She loves helping people and likes communicating and talking to people; I get it from her,” Wilson said.
Wilson attended the Hogs’ game against Texas A&M on Saturday. He said his relationships with defensive line coach Jermial Ashley and graduate assistant Demerick Gary have him interested in the Razorbacks.
“Coach Ashley is a great guy,” Wilson said. “Coming from Tulsa I know he develops people and that’s what it’s all about, and Coach Gary especially, they do a great job contacting me and keeping in touch. I just like the attitude he brings to the development of the player.”
National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network is high on Wilson, who has 14 tackles — including 4 sacks and 3 tackles for loss — with 11 pressures this season.
“I had him as a 3-star plus prospect this past April when I saw him,” Lemming said. “He can run and is very physical. Could wind up playing outside linebacker or defensive end.”
Arkansas’ 40-21 victory over previous top-25 ranked Texas impressed Wilson.
“They played hard and they showed toughness, and that’s what Arkansas is all about, and getting the win against Texas was huge,” Wilson said. “They bumped up in the rankings and for sure they’re making a statement.”
Wilson, who has a 3.5 grade-point average, in one of five team captains for the Patriots. He’s looking to go into coaching or sports marketing. He also understands the importance of networking and how it aids professional development in business.
“Connections [are] everything,” Wilson said. “It’s how you make it in life and it’s not all about going places, you meet people and you learn stuff from people. You just build relationships, and I just like making new friends and just talking to people.”
Wilson made trips to Michigan, Baylor, Rice, SMU and Stanford during the summer.
“I’m going back up to Michigan for the Ohio State game, Arizona State for the USC game and then most [of his other visits] will be done in the offseason,” Wilson said.
Arkansas is on his list of schools to visit after the season.
“This offseason especially for sure, I’m going up there,” Wilson said.
Ashley has pointed out Fortune 500 companies like Wal-Mart and Tyson being in Northwest Arkansas along with successful alumni like Dallas Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones.
“Even if you go to the NFL, most people play 5 to 10 years and you get out and you’re only 30 something years old,” Wilson said. “You still have to have a plan. You haven’t lived half your life yet. Things like that makes me think Arkansas is a pretty good place.”
Saincilaire has seen several talented defensive linemen come though the doorways of the school but sees Wilson as a top prospect.
“We’ve been really fortunate to have some really good defensive linemen, but I will say he’s definitely by far one of my best D-linemen to come through the program,” Saincilaire said.
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