After leading the national champion Michigan Wolverines with 12 receiving touchdowns this season, WR Roman Wilson grabbed headlines and the attention of the media and scouts this week with a standout performance at the 2024 Senior Bowl practices.
Wilson (6-0, 192), was born in Hawaii and grew up on the island of Maui. When he reached the ninth grade, his parents enrolled him into Saint Louis High School that his rich football pedigree with alumni such as QBs Tua Tagovailoa and Marcus Mariota. The school is located on the island of Honolulu, about a 45-minute flight from Maui. Wilson would wake up 4 a.m., drive to the airport to catch a 6 a.m. flight before taking 50-minute bus ride to get to school around 8. Most nights he returned home around 9 p.m. after classes and practice.
"It was hard," Wilson said. "At a young age, that is something I wouldn't want anyone to go through, but it made it who I am. I am really grateful for it every day of my life. I remember I used to get home sick a lot. I remember on a Tuesday, I just woke up, got on the bus and went to the airport and went home. Like it was just one of those days it was finally catching up."
Wilson commuted for a month before he moved in with family friends in Honolulu. He helped Saint Louis to a 38-game winning streak and had 61 receptions for 1,025 yards as a senior. In his final year at Michigan, he had a similar breakout with 48 receptions for 789 yards and 12 touchdowns in 15 games.
Jeff Ulbrich, the Jets DC and National Team coach at the Senior Bowl, was a two-year starter for University of Hawaii (where he met his wife) and coached Wilson this week in Mobile.
"I have been blown away by this guy," Ulbrich said. "First of all, the fact that a Hawaii player went to Michigan is just mind blowing to me. I can't even imagine that. That is unheard of. A lot of players that do that, they transfer back home. It is just a different world and he has done the opposite of that. He has thrived there and put himself in a position to be drafted, I would imagine, fairly high. He has got skill, he has got the mindset, he has got all of that. He is a really unique kid, and you just feel it that this is not too big for him. I would say nothing is too big for this guy. In my opinion, I think he is going to be a very successful player."
Oregon State's Taliese Fuaga Catching Eye of Jets Staff
The Jets offensive line struggled with injuries and to protect the QB last season starting 13 O-Line combinations and allowing 64 sacks over 17 games. With the No. 10 pick in April's NFL Draft, they may look to bolster their O-Line and might look no further than Oregon State offensive tackle Taliese Fuaga to held mend the issues.
"I think he has size and strength and a great mindset," Jeff Ulbrich said after working with Fuaga at the Senior Bowl. "Sitting in the meeting rooms, it is really cool to get to know him that way. He is actually an exceptional learner as well. He asks the right questions, is super engaged. I can tell he has real love for this game so he is one of those guys that I would love to coach."
Fuaga started 12 games at right tackle for the Beavers last season and allowed 0 sacks, 2 QB hits and 12 pressures according to Pro Football Focus. In NFL Network Analyst Daniel Jermiah's first Mock Draft for NFL.com, he had the Jets selecting the Oregon State tackle.
Pair of Fighting Irish Prospects
Notre Dame QB Sam Hartman was sacked just 14 times in 13 games this past season thanks in large part to his left tackle Joe Alt. With Alt, the No. 9 ranked prospect on NFL Network Analyst Daniel Jermiah's top-50 list, continuing to garner attention ahead of Aprils' NFL Draft, the Fighting Irish QB had nothing but positive things to say about his teammate at the Senior Bowl.
"I trust that man with my life," Hartman said. "I keep telling the people who ask me if he is ready for the NFL, and I tell them if anyone has a knock on him, come tell me about it. And I'll let you know that it isn't true. I think all 32 teams need to be winning guy and I think whatever team he lands on is going to be blessed."
Listed at 6-8 and 322 pounds, Alt started 12 games this season and allowed 1 sack, 2 QB hits and 5 pressures according to Pro Football Focus. NFL Network draft analyst Bucky Brooks had the Jets tabbing the Notre Dame tackle in his latest mock draft at No. 10 overall.
Oklahoma's Tyler Guyton's Transition from D-Lineman to NFL Offensive Tackle
When Tyler Guyton signed his letter of intent with TCU in 2020, he had dreams of being a defensive tackle for the Horned Frogs. That quickly changed when he hopped on his first Zoom meeting his freshman year. To his surprise, he had been lumped in with the offensive tackles.
After nine games over two seasons at TCU, Guyton transferred to Oklahoma in 2022. He played in 10 games (9 starts) as a senior and allowed 0 sacks, 3 pressures and 12 QB hits according to Pro Football Focus at right tackle. The 6-7, 328 pounder's impressive build and athleticism has made him a top-25 prospect on many big boards and could be in the mix of players available and deserving of the No. 10 overall pick in April's draft.
"I don't change is hard. I think of it as a challenge. I think challenges are fun," Guyton said at the Senior Bowl. "You got to find joy. Switching over was fun for me. I thought of it as trying something new. Getting closer to my brothers on the O-Line made it really fun. They saw something I didn't see in myself yet, but I just thought I was a hybrid detector DT, which I am not. I am long and athletic. I have a different type of build. I don't have a gut. I can move a little bit. I like to learn, that's probably the biggest thing. I've been working on my hand placement which is getting better. There's a lot of things."