Edge rushers are at a premium in modern football. The ability to defend spread offenses and impact the quarterback with your front four is a must. The Florida State Seminoles have been missing a force on the edge since Brian Burns. That is until FSU landed 3-star defensive end George Wilson during the early singing period.
Wilson will take time to develop but possess skills that are not currently present on the FSU roster. Defensive linemen who were recruited by and committed to Will Muschamp usually pan out which should excite FSU fans. Wilson will have the opportunity to make a big impact at Florida State.
Let’s take a look at some of what he does well.
You can’t typically be a good pass rusher without an explosive first step. Wilson possesses that explosion off the line of scrimmage and maintains quickness and speed throughout his first few steps. This explosion, quickness, and speed all show up as he blows by the offensive tackle in the clip that follows. It is one thing to beat an offensive tackle off the line but to get by the tackle you must be able to continue to gain ground with speed. This doesn’t even take into account the ability to bend as Wilson is just that explosive off the line.
Re-direct and Play Flat
In the zone read era defensive ends must be able to re-direct and get flat down the line to play the QB and running back. Wilson is able to read the block, QB, and then get flat down the line of scrimmage to make the play. This is the type of effort it takes to be a two way player on the DL. Look for this part of Wilson’s game to continue to develop over time.
Anchoring the Edge
I want to keep talking about Wilson as a pass rusher but his ability to set an edge and play the run excites me as well. You would like to see Wilson stay square in the following clip but he will be coached up on that. What is encouraging is he squeezes, turns the ball back inside, and then pursues. All of Wilsons athletic traits show up whether it’s run or pass and that is good to see.