This article originally appeared in the Monrovia Weekly.
Gaylen Wilson has been playing football for more than half his life. The Monrovia High School senior defensive back/wide receiver used his experience of playing since he was six to earn a spot of the varsity team during his sophomore year.
Wilson became inspired to play at such an early age after watching former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick play.
“I loved watching Michael Vick. Even though I’m a 49ers fan, I wanted to be like him,” Wilson said.
While Wilson sticks to DB/WR now, he has also played quarterback, running back, and other skilled positions over the years. He said he likes DB/WR the best, so he’s sticking to them. He doesn’t know which he will play yet in college, but he does plan to play in college. He has been in conversation with a few coaches from NCAA Division I schools, but he is still waiting on a formal offer.
Wilson had more than 20 catches and 40 tackles last year, with an interception and two punt return touchdowns as well. He even had a kickoff return for more than 90 yards. He does it all.
“I love scoring touchdowns and dominating other people,” Wilson said.
This year, Wilson has set an even higher bar. He wants to have more than 10 touchdowns and five or more interceptions. Wilson compared his playing style to Oakland Raiders receiver Antonio Brown for his good routes and speed and Los Angeles Rams cornerback Marcus Peters for his ball hawking skills, always being around the ball.
A big factor in this will be Wilson’s speed. He is also a sprinter on the track team, running the 100-meter dash in under 11 seconds and the 200-meter dash in under 23 seconds.
Wherever he ends up in college, Wilson plans on studying law or science because the fields have strong job security.
“There’s a big need for them and they make a lot of money. I’m not sure which specific ones yet, but I want to end up in those fields,” Wilson said.
Although Wilson is not a huge player at 5-feet-10 and 170 pounds, he said he thinks a lot of people think he’s mean because of the way he walks around campus.
“Before they meet me, most people probably think I’m mean,” Wilson said. “But once you get to know me, I’m pretty nice.”