Garrett Wilson’s childhood dreams were realized when his phone rang inside Caesars Forum at the NFL Draft in Las Vegas. The top prospect was snagged by the New York Jets in the first round, as the tenth overall pick, surround by friends and family. Despite the moment being a culmination of years of hard work, the wide receiver is eager to get back to it.
“I’ll be back on the field tomorrow,” Wilson says. The outgoing Ohio State Buckeye has spent his off-season sharpening his already impressive skills at the Exos sports facility in Scottsdale, AZ. So going a few days without running routes or throwing weights around is a rarity. “I haven’t been able to get any proper workouts during the trip, and I’m excited to get really working again.”
Men’s Journal sat down with the incoming Jet to discuss training alongside his fellow prospects, passions off-field, and preparing to enter the NFL.
Men’s Journal: How are you feeling here in Vegas?
Garrett Wilson: I feel great now that we’re here. Leading up there’s been a lot of stress obviously, and a lot of activities to get through. And coming up to this moment you couldn’t help but let your mind wander and wonder. It’s been real special. I have my whole family up here, which is nice. I’ve been doing everything I can to stay focused throughout the process.
How have you been spending your off-season?
I’ve been training really hard, and I’m not going to stop. I worked hard before the combine to work on new skills and improve on elements where there was room for improvement. I didn’t want to stay comfortable working out this off-season so I went to the Exos facility in Scottsdale, where I trained alongside a bunch of other players who were preparing to be drafted as well. We’re all competing alongside each other, and getting better together.
Who were some of the guys you were training with?
I was side by side with Jahan Dotson, Charleston Rambo, and a bunch of guys who are all like-minded—trying to put ourselves in the best possible situation possible. It was a really cool experience for all of us. Getting to compete against guys who are likely to be teammates and rivals in the near future.
Where are you doing most of your training when you aren’t at an off-season facility?
My man Mike Davis has been someone who always helps me out, ever since I was in high school. He helped me get dialed in for Pro Day, and I hit him up whenever I’m in Texas. But back at home in Ohio with the team we all have always pushed each other with CJ Stroud and Chris [Olave].
What kind of training did you do out there?
The whole coaching staff was incredible and they all work together. I did a lot of calf-focused workouts with Jonathan Barlow. Everything was directly correlated to the movements we’re doing during the NFL combine. We trained specifically for our 40-yard dash and running routes, getting that explosive power right out of the box. There were some great machines, like the Keiser Squat machine where we could actually measure the velocity we had. You could see when you put up bigger numbers on the machine that it translated to what happened on the field.
What’s your diet like these days?
These days my diet is pretty free. I’ve got one of those metabolisms where I can gain five pounds after one meal or loss five pounds after one workout. Realistically, I’ll probably have to start messing with my diet a bit more as I get older.
What do you do with your free time?
I love playing ball and watching ball, so that takes up the majority of my time. For a little fresh air, I go out with my dog. I’ve got a Shiba Inu and I like to walk with her all around Columbus. I’m looking forward to finding some new spots to walk with her once we move.
I hear you play a bit of Call of Duty. There have been some shout outs to the game on the fashion side this NFL Draft.
I’ve played Call of Duty for a while, and like to play Warzone. I’m more of a multiplayer kind of gamer. It’s been cool to connect with some pro gamers and play with them.
Who are some of the guys you like to watch and look up to?
My favorite receiver of all time is Randy Moss. Davante Adams is right up there, too. I would be stoked to chop it up with him after a game. I also like watching Stevie Johnson and Stefon Diggs.
How soon until you get back to the grind?
I’m getting back to work immediately. This is just one goal that I’m crossing off of my list, and there are many. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a huge goal, but there’s still work to do and in a way, the work is just really beginning. I want to be an asset for my team and I want to have a real impact. I want to build us up to be as good as we can, and that starts with me being the best I can be. It’s a dream come true. It’s incredible to now be a part of the NFL.