BYU Head Coach Kalani Sitaki watched now Jets QB Zach Wilson grow from the youngest quarterback to start in program history to the No. 2 overall draft pick, the highest any BYU player has been drafted. After playing 30 games for the Cougars, Sitaki is excited to see what's in store for Wilson on the next level.
"I think he's a perfect fit for the Jets and I like what they did with their draft picks," Sitaki said on NFL Network. "I think it's a huge commitment to Zach himself and it's got to feel good when the team that drafts him second overall trades up and solidified an O-lineman from USC in [Alijah] Vera-Tucker. I'm just really excited about how the Jets organization went about the draft and how they handled themselves in connecting with Zach and I think Zach is going to do a great job there."
He later added: "Our scheme that we run is very similar I think to what's going to be done with the Jets organization. They can go into a little bit more because he doesn't have to worry about academics and school now. He can be a full-time football player, which is what he's been wanting to do. I think you're going to get really great results from a guy that has his type of work ethic, football mind and he happens to throw the ball really well."
It's easy to see why Wilson (6-2, 214) was the No. 2 overall pick -- the eye-popping 2020 stats (33 TDs, 3 INTs) and his arm talent, whipping the ball from different arm angles and platforms while completing 73.5% of his passes. The babyface assassin as Kirk Herbstreit referred to him on his show QB21on ESPN, Sitaki believes Wilson's looks are deceiving.
"He's got a baby face, but that guy knows how to handle himself and handle himself as a teammate," he said. "That's the thing that I think people misunderstand. You look at him and he looks so young, but when you start to see him go to work and the way he connects with his teammates, it's an amazing feat. The way he handles himself as a leader is really through example more than anything. I think he says all the right things, but more importantly, he does the right things. He's going to work extremely hard. The guy is a football junkie."
Wilson, one of the Cougars' captains in the 2020 season, had to earn the starting spot over the summer in a three-way quarterback competition. All three were coming off injuries and for Wilson, he underwent shoulder surgery in January 2019.
"We really didn't know what to expect from all of them and thought let's just open it up and see what we can do," Sitaki said. "He's a true competitor. He didn't complain about it, he just went to work. As much as people want to act like people have to solidify a starting spot, you have to compete for it every time. That's the only way I know how to do it. So every position on our team is up for grabs. You can see someone emerge from it and if someone is afraid to compete, they can find the transfer portal.
"Zach is an extreme competitor. Since he got drafted, he's already been working and trying to find ways to make the Jets team a lot better. … I think the Jets fans will be really happy that he's their quarterback."