Oklahoma State offensive lineman Michael Wilson has been reflective all season.
As a fifth-year senior out of Aledo, Wilson has much to think back on from his career with the Cowboys.
“I’ve just been remembering all of the good things, all of the tough times,” Wilson said. “The overwhelming thought is how much I’m going to miss it. I’ve spent five years here, and it’s really become my home. Senior night was emotional, for my parents and me. I tried to focus on the game as much as possible.”
Wilson and his fellow seniors have an opportunity to go out as Big 12 champions with a win Saturday in the Bedlam rivalry game against Oklahoma at 11:30 a.m. in Norman. The Cowboys and Sooners are meeting in the final week of the season with the conference title on the line for a second straight year.
“I love playing in this game, just because of all of the history behind the rivalry,” said Wilson, who is calling on last year’s 58-23 loss to Oklahoma for motivation. “They came to our home and embarrassed us last year. It’s a game that hurts to lose but it’s so awesome to win. Going in, we are going to play the best we can. We know what we want and how to get it. We just have to execute.”
Wilson was a highly rated recruit for the Bearcats, blocking the way for record-breaking running back Johnathan Gray. After sitting out a year to redshirt and playing sparsely as a freshman, Wilson vaulted into the Oklahoma State lineup as a sophomore. He bounced around, starting at four offensive line positions. That year, Wilson and his teammates defeated Oklahoma and won the TicketCity Cactus Bowl against Washington.
Last season, Wilson started every game at left guard, as Oklahoma State finished 10-3 but lost its final two games. This year, Wilson has started every game at right guard.
Our offensive unit takes tremendous pride in what we do. We’ve got a great group of guys who have been together for three, four years. We have a great connection and work together.
Oklahoma State guard Michael Wilson
The Cowboys have bounced back from a disappointing start to the season that included losses to Central Michigan and Baylor.
“We had to put all of that stuff in the past and look at what we did wrong to be in those positions in the first place,” Wilson said. “We had to look at everything — turnovers, missed blocks, dropped passes, whatever it was — and get better in those areas. The whole team knew how much potential we had and what we had to do. We just got back to work.”
Oklahoma State’s season turnaround is an example of the program’s resiliency, which Wilson said has helped him grow as a man in his time in Stillwater, Okla.
“They have really taught me how to handle things on my own and overcome adversity,” said Wilson, who plans to pursue a career as a police officer, possibly back in the Fort Worth area. “It’s an attitude about getting up off the ground when you get knocked down and going back to work.”