Thursday, August 13, 2009

Surprise attack

Wilson has quietly earned confidence of his teammates

Kansas junior receiver Johnathan Wilson has been voted “Biggest Surprise” for two straight years by his teammates.

Kansas junior receiver Johnathan Wilson has been voted “Biggest Surprise” for two straight years by his teammates.


In his sophomore season, wide receiver Johnathan Wilson was voted “Biggest Surprise” by his Kansas University teammates. He went on to start in 12 of the Jayhawks’ 13 games, racking up 43 receptions for 573 yards and three touchdowns.

Apparently, however, Wilson isn’t quite done surprising people.

Voted “Biggest Surprise” for the second straight year, the junior from Houston is poised to make a major impact on the Jayhawks’ offense.

“John has just continued to get better and better every day and every year that he’s been here,” said offensive coordinator Ed Warinner. “He had a great spring, had a good spring game, put up big numbers. So he’s a guy that you know really gives us a weapon on one side. ... And if they want to try to overload to (wide receivers Dezmon) Briscoe or Kerry Meier’s side, John Wilson can hurt you. He’s really developed.”

While Wilson says he was surprised to receive the honor for the second year in a row, it wasn’t because he didn’t put in the effort.

“I’m just a hard-working guy,” Wilson said. “I want the team to have trust in me, so I just work hard and try to show the guys that I can make plays for them and they can count on me.”

And it’s a work ethic his teammates and coaches have noticed.

“John has pushed himself hard since he first got here,” Meier said. “John’s the type of guy you can depend on. He’s going to come out and work each day.”

Added Warinner, “He’s worked really hard in the offseason to be stronger and more physical and that helps him out there to have a bigger presence. He understands our offense. He’s got confidence in running the routes. Todd (Reesing) has confidence in him.”

Wilson got his chance to shine this spring after Briscoe missed most of the spring season because of a suspension for academic reasons.

“Not having (Briscoe) there and having John kind of be that other guy, he was the guy that Todd looked to through the spring,” Meier said. “John definitely felt confidence through the offense and it definitely boosted his confidence as a player. I think he definitely benefited from being that man out there on the outside.”

His play and effort on the field certainly earned Briscoe’s seal of approval.

“What impresses me about John is when I wasn’t there with the team, he stepped up and helped out our receiving corps,” Briscoe said. “What I’ve been seeing in two-a-days and from one-on-ones, I’ve seen that he’s learned some new releases to get off the line and he learned how to beat man coverage. He learned the playbook a whole lot. He knows every position that the wides have. He’s really developed as a premier player on the team.”

And with a tough Big 12 Conference schedule looming, the Jayhawks will be looking to Wilson to keep surprising people.

“Johnathan has been a steady hand for us, now,” coach Mark Mangino said. “He is a guy that has kind of been back in the shadows, but he has made some big plays for us. He continually gets better. ... He is going to be an important guy. He will be a guy that has to make plays for us in order for us to be a good offensive team; and I think he will.”


gardenjay 10 years, 5 months ago

I am impressed with how gracious Briscoe is to his fellow man, and how this both looks and feels like a team here. Good job Jonathan, and good job Dezmon. Keep trying your best both on and off the field, we support you.

jayhawkboogeyman 10 years, 5 months ago

Good story. Sounds like Dez's time away really helped him focus in on the team concept Mangino demands, and Wilson should be even better than he was last year. Three premier receiving threats, it seems, this year. Sweet

SpockHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I do not concur, gentlemen.

One should quickly discern that BrIIIIIscoe's "when I wasn't with..." and "What I've been seeing.." scrIIIIIpted self serving statements clearly IIIIIndIIIIIcate how diffIIIIIcult IIIIIt must be for hIIIIIm to realIIIIIze that there are no 'IIIII's in 'TEAM'.

Jonathan, be a better man and IIIIIgnore hIIIIIs comment. Clearly, you lead by example and your success depends not on hIIIIIs presence.

jayhawkintx73 10 years, 5 months ago

Turns out that the suspension humbled Briscoe, which is a good thing. It will make him more deceptive when official kick off time on September 5th arrives.

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 5 months ago

I got the feeling that Briscoe was trying to be extremely complementary of Wilson, but still doesn't put Wilson on a level playing field with himself. It sounds like he was almost saying, "John has learned a lot of good things and has come a very long way since I've been gone. He almost knows as much about receiving as I do now, and he should be a very important player for us this year. Almost as important as myself."

I like Briscoe and I like most of what I've been hearing from him this past week. It's hard for a player with as much talent as he has to really look past his own personal contribution and view everything through the perspective of the team as a whole. I remember some of the statements that Sherron made this past season after some tough losses. He would say things like "I should have done this" or "I should have done that," and while he certainly was the leader and had the responsibility to carry the load, he sometimes seemed to forget that it wasn't all about him. Many people claim that Michael Jordan was a horrible teammate... he had to work to overcome the "I'm better than you" attitude even though he was the best player ever. This constant working on his attitude helped him to win championships. I think this is similar to what Briscoe and Sherron are doing... They are trying to change their mindsets and say and do the right things, and hopefully it will pay off.

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 5 months ago

By the way,

I hope that Johnathan Wilson has a HUGE year. I remember how big he was last year in the non-con games, especially the USF game, but it seemed like Reesing didn't look for him much in Big XII play. Maybe the Big XII DB's just put much better coverage on him. I hope this is a breakout year for him, and I'm glad that we'll have him back next year when Meier and maybe Briscoe will be gone.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Offensive line update please. Is Reesing going to be eating turf all season? I'd like to see these star receivers each have 1000 yard seasons.

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 5 months ago

I think you guys are reading WAY too much into Briscoe's comments.

Joshua Hann 10 years, 5 months ago

Big surprise there, uh ohioburg? Everyone knows Briscoe personally since they read about him on here everyday so what they say about him must be true...

KGphoto 10 years, 5 months ago

Brooke Sutherland? Is there a hen in the rooster house? It's basically a series of quotes, but hey, you didn't F it up.

Spock, your i key is stuck.

plastic, you missed it. Briscoe's comments were genuine. And hey, if not, what about Meier's comments? Are they not arrogant to you? What's the dif?

JWil, sickem!

bayareajhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Wilson has been one of my favorite Jayhawks since that USF game. If defenses decide to give Kerry and Dez a lot of attention, Wilson might just have the biggest year of the three. I can't wait to see a balanced passing attack this season. With Briscoe, Meier and Wilson all running routes, Todd will have plenty of options. If he gets some time in the pocket he will pick teams apart. I really can't wait for the season to start! Can we start playing games this weekend?

dubya 10 years, 5 months ago

This is off topic, but... I was checking out and came across highlights of Antonio Burton. He's a safety from TX who's already committed to becoming a Jayhawk. has him rated as 2 star, but he looks like a heck of an athlete on the film. I'm excited to get this guy in here next year!

(look at the green video box in the top right corner of the article and double click his name to view)

The link also has some nice Keeston Terry film and Jeremiah Edwards... all good stuff!

justanotherfan 10 years, 5 months ago


I watched that video. Burton looks good on tape. I like his instincts and the fact that he's not afraid to deliver a hit.

I checked Scout, and it looks like he hasn't been evaluated by them, because his profile doesn't have any notes. Both Rivals and ESPN have him rated as a three star level prospect. Rivals has him as a 74, ESPN rates him a 77. McDougald was a 79 on ESPN just for reference (he was a four star). This makes me think that Scout's rating is outdated. Still, this is a great find for us.

justanotherfan 10 years, 5 months ago

Also, its interesting that ESPN claims to use Scout's rating system for player evaluation.

dubya 10 years, 5 months ago


Thanks for the earmark. Regardless of rankings, this kid plays fast and can deliver a blow. I like his upside, no matter how many stars he gets.

It's also been noted several times on this site, that ratings seem to be tightly correlated w/ the perceived status of schools recruiting the kid (i.e. if Florida, Ohio State and OU have offered, this kid must be 5 stars, automatically.). I think there is something to this.

Lance Hobson 10 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, I remember posting a comment to the affect of "Who is Wilson" when he start getting a bunch of catches during one of the early games. We've got some talent and someone like him will likely step up, just like Briscoe did last year.

Joseph Kuebel 10 years, 5 months ago

What ever happened to this kid? They said he was supposed to step in and start right away and was rated the top OL out of JuCO...

lance1jhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

CaliHawk33- The Big Cahuna was a big bust, and he transfered.

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