Wilson focused on remainder of season for Bobcats

Written By: Shawn Wansley
Email Address: shawn.wansley@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2011-09-07 13:41:05

 By Shawn Wansley

JCJC Sports Information Director

ELLISVILLE – Anthony Wilson is regarded as one of the top junior college prospects in Mississippi.

But the sophomore defensive end from Birmingham, Ala., is interested in only one thing at the moment – helping the Jones County Junior College Bobcats win.

“The only thing we are looking at now is going up,” Wilson said Tuesday afternoon in the Bobcat Fieldhouse. “We are not looking back at last week because it’s a new game this week. We are acting like this is the first game. I’m excited about our team and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

The Bobcats pummeled Mississippi Delta Community College 33-0 in the season opener last week. JCJC limited the Trojans to just 55 yards of total offense, five first downs (two via penalty) and only ten yards passing on the evening.

Wilson said it was an excellent effort across the board for the Bobcat stop troops.

“The defense did real well,” he said. “We did a good job to hold them to no points and that was a big goal. We want to hold offenses to less than seven points and we did that in the first game.

“I was proud of my d-line teammates. We did a good job of dominating up front and the linebackers played well filling the gaps. The cornerbacks did not have any fun because they (Delta) weren’t able to throw the ball. They were kind of mad at the rest of us. But we got the job done.”

Individually, Wilson was outstanding.

The Midfield High School product had four solo tackles, one assist, one tackle for a 9-yard loss and two quarterback sacks for minus seven yards. Wilson, who is known for abilities as a pass rusher, is trying to improve his defense against the run.

“I want to be a workhorse,” the 6-foot-3, 230-pound, Southern Miss commitment said. “I think I do a good job of getting to the ball and with my pass rush. I am trying to become more of a complete football player. Last year, I did not worry about playing the pass as much. This year, I am learning how to play the run better.

“I think my versatility on playing the run and pass is better this year. We’ve got team goals, but I’ve got personal goals, too.”

The Bobcats struggled to a 2-7 record last year during Wilson’s freshman campaign. But he and his sophomore teammates, such as defensive tackle Derrek Upshaw, are trying to set a positive example for the younger players.

“We had a disappointing season last year,” said Wilson, who was named one of the state’s top 20 juco prospects by the Sun-Herald newspaper. “I needed to come in this year and put my foot down. Derrek and me are trying to lead these younger guys. They are doing a real good job of coming in and filling their roles.”

Wilson said this year’s Bobcat team is special. They have worked well together on and off the field.

“I’ve enjoyed being with this team,” he said. “We have great team chemistry, a lot better than last year. We are closer as a group now than we were all of last year. The freshmen came in and they knew what was ahead of them. The sophomores were not worried about last year, either.”

Wilson credits second-year defensive line coach and former Bobcat standout Anthony Maddox with helping him to improve.

“Coach Maddox is a real good defensive line coach,” he said. “He does a good job of teaching us technique and other things.”

JCJC returns to Bobcat Stadium/Sim Cooley Field for a 7 p.m. game on Thursday against Coahoma Community College. The Tigers recorded their first win ever over JCJC last year, beating the Bobcats 26-24 in Clarksdale.

Coahoma dropped a 24-14 decision to Co-Lin last week, but Wilson respects the Tigers.

“Coahoma is a real athletic team,” he said. “They have great size. But you really can’t judge a team until you play them in person. You can watch film as much as you want, but until you get into a game situation, you just don’t know.

“I think they have a real good quarterback and running back and they will give us a threat. They like to run the option and throw the ball some, but I think we should handle them.”

Tropical Storm Lee disrupted the Bobcats’ preparation for this week’s game. They bussed to Southern Miss on Monday to practice on an artificial surface during a heavy rainstorm.

That gave Wilson a chance to work out on a field that will be his home turf for the next two years.

“We had to go practice and get some work in,” he said. “It was nice, but I did not want to be there under those conditions. But it was good to get out on that field.”

Wilson wants to graduate from JCJC in December, so can enroll at Southern Miss in January. He is excited about being a member of the Golden Eagle football team.

“That’s the plan,” he said. “Whatever God has planned for me will happen. Southern Miss has shown a lot of interest in me since the 10th-grade. I had a lot of schools looking at me, but they showed the most interest and stuck with me even though I had grade problems.

“That’s why I chose to commit to them again. They are like a big family with good academics and they produce a lot of good players. “

By playing at JCJC, Wilson has gotten used to living in Mississippi and making the drive down Interstate 59 to school. He has been pleased with the move from Birmingham to Ellisville.

“I did not know what to expect because I knew Mississippi would be a bit different,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed it here. It’s been nice because Jones is right by Hattiesburg and it has not been much of an adjustment.

“Jones is a nice school with a nice campus and I feel welcome here.”

Fans can watch the Bobcats battle Coahoma at 7 p.m. on Thursday on www.jcjc.tv. Lance Pittman will call the play by play and Mark Easley will handle the commentary.


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