Sometimes, criticism is grudgingly accepted. Boise State’s Cedrick Wilson welcomes it.
The senior wide receiver, a team captain, said following the Sept. 22 loss to Virginia that he was going to spend far more time thinking about the two dropped passes he had than the career-high 13 catches he made.
Soon after the game, Wilson read a text from his father, also named Cedrick, who played seven seasons in the NFL.
“He said, ‘13 catches and you only score once? That’s a problem,’ ” Wilson said.
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Against the Cavaliers, the younger Wilson had 209 receiving yards, scoring on a 40-yard touchdown on the final offensive play. He said he should have scored another, early in the fourth quarter on a pass he dropped on a slant route. Quarterback Brett Rypien was intercepted the next play.
“My dad always said to be better than you were the day before,” Wilson said. “After that game, he said he’d never had a game like the one I had, but also mentioned that play. I watched it over and over. Then I ran it four or five times in practice to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Wilson Jr. and Wilson Sr. talk after each game, often started with a paragraph-long text about what the father saw from his son. Sometimes it can turn into a very long, serious conversation.
The week of last year’s Cactus Bowl loss, Cedrick and fellow wide receiver A.J. Richardson asked Cedrick Sr. to drive them to a nearby store to grab some snacks.
“We wound up, all three of us, sitting in that car for about two hours talking about football, that game, how we were going to improve going into the next season,” Wilson said.
Wilson is a captain for a reason. He’s not the sort to dwell on the negative, but he is not above critique. This fall, he changed his Twitter photo to an excerpt of a critical scouting report.
“I keep a positive mindset. I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong, just know things that can be improved,” Wilson said. “If I get back criticism, I don’t go back to someone and say, ‘Let’s see you do it better.’ If someone sees something, I try to understand.”
In his 17 games at Boise State after transferring from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, Wilson has 85 receptions for 1,604 yards with 14 touchdowns. His 121.3 receiving yards per game in 2017 are tied for No. 6 in the Football Bowl Subdivision and his 7.3 receptions per game are tied for 18th.
“Ced’s really consistent in his approach every single day, and he has been ever since he got here. ... He’s driven,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “That’s your competitor. The expectation in his mind is whatever ball comes my way, I’m going to catch it.”
Harsin said the Broncos had nine dropped passes against Virginia, including Wilson’s two. Wilson was targeted 19 times, or 35.8 percent of the team’s 53 pass attempts. Richardson had five receptions for a career-high 80 yards, but the rest of the wide receivers had three catches for 6 yards.
“(Wide receivers) coach (Eric Kiesau) said we’re not going to act like it didn’t happen,” Wilson said. “We talked about it, we worked on it in practice, that’s an emphasis this week.
“They look at me when things are going wrong, I tell them, ‘You can change it just like I can.’ ”
Wilson hopes to continue to be one of the offense’s primary playmakers as the Broncos face BYU on Friday. He had a touchdown catch against the Cougars last year. BYU senior linebacker Fred Warner said the Cougars are wary of the deep passes to Wilson and they have to force Boise State “to throw it around.”
Even if defenses key on Wilson, the Broncos hope to keep him involved, be it on offense or as a kick returner.
Oh, Wilson also is No. 18 in the FBS with a 28.8-yard average on kickoff returns.
“He’s made exceptional plays for us. ... Finding ways to get him the ball — you can’t always, but when you do, he’s making plays,” Harsin said.
▪ Join Boise State beat writer Dave Southorn and Statesman sports editor Chadd Cripe for a Facebook Live Q&A at 11 a.m. Thursday at www.www.facebook.com/boisestatesports.
Five questions with Cedrick Wilson
What do you miss when you think about Memphis, your hometown?
“My dad’s side of the family, their jokes. My aunts and uncles are comics, I swear. But the best spots are on Beale Street and Poplar (Avenue). And you have to go to Ching’s. That’s where you get some good hot wings.”
How many times have you had tattoos done, and what’s your favorite?
“I used to go a lot in Memphis on breaks when I was in JC. And I got a sleeve done here in Boise. I bet it’s been nine, 10 times. My favorite is on my right bicep. It’s Matthew 5:16.” (“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds ... ”)
Sometimes you rock glasses. Fashion statement or necessity?
“Oh, I need them. I had these big Ray-Bans when I first got here, now I’m wearing these smaller ones. Some of the guys say they look like Harry Potter. At first, they were like, ‘Who is this guy?’ But now, some have their own.”
Your dad played for the Steelers and 49ers. Do you have a favorite NFL team?
“My favorite team is the Vikings, because of Randy Moss. I try to model myself after A.J. Green (Bengals), too. I like Stefon Diggs a lot right now from the Vikings.”
Outside of football, what do you like to do?
“Hanging out with the guys, going bowling, Buffalo Wild Wings on Tuesday. But I’ve got a new hobby now. Last weekend I went horseback riding with my girlfriend in Oregon. It was my first time close to a horse. You know when a dog is scared or happy. You can’t tell on a horse. I’m excited to try it again. She did rodeo stuff and said she was an athlete. I didn’t believe her, but I see it now.”
Boise State at BYU
When: 8:15 p.m. Friday
Where: Lavell Edwards Stadium (63,470, grass), Provo, Utah
TV: ESPN (Adam Amin, Dusty Dvoracek, Molly McGrath)
Radio: KBOI 670 AM/KTIK 93.1 FM (Bob Behler, Pete Cavender)
Records: BSU 2-2 (lost to Virginia 42-23); BYU 1-4 (lost to Utah State 40-24)
Series: Boise State leads 5-2 (beat Cougars 28-27 in Boise in 2016)
Vegas line: Boise State by 9
Kickoff weather: Low 50s, clear