Garden City, KS-He just wanted a chance to play.
After losing out on the starting quarterback job at Oregon, one of the nation's top recruits wanted his chance to be on the field. So Terry Wilson ventured to the middle of the country.
"I just wanted an opportunity," he said. "And Coach (Jeff) Sims gave me that chance."
When Wilson arrived on campus, he was not promised anything. Sims and his staff had also brought in Tylin Oden, who had seen time at quarterback during his freshman season at Rutgers.
"Terry can play," Sims said before the season opener vs. Ellsworth. "I don't have any doubts about that. He just needs the chance to be on the field. I mean he left Oregon to come play for us."
All Wilson did was throw for more than 2,000 yards and 26 touchdowns while leading Garden City to a second-place finish in the nation's top, Junior College conference. He was named the Jayhawk Offensive Player of the Year, and he guided the Broncbusters to a bowl game for a second consecutive season. He was on most Power-5 school's wish list, but in the end, Wilson made it official this week, committing to Kentucky.
"I've come leaps and bounds from earlier in the season," Wilson said. "Just my understanding of what's going on has really progressed."
Wilson threw 13 touchdowns to only three interceptions over his final five games as Garden City finished 4-1.
"I almost would want Terry to play one more year for us," Sims said with a smile. "But that won't happen; he's earned it."
Wilson was not the only player to make their next destination known this week as tight end Nigel Kilby announced his commitment to Louisville.
Sheer size alone sets the sophomore receiver apart from most anyone else. He towers over most lineman, and he's very agile for someone his size. And boy did the numbers show it. Kilby led the Jayhawk conference with 10 touchdown receptions. He had two vs. No. 8 Trinity Valley in the Heart of Texas Bowl, but his best performance by far was in week four vs. Hutchinson, when the Eastern-Michigan transfer caught 10 balls for 115 yards and three touchdowns.
Imagine this, Kilby entered his freshman year of high school at 5-foot-11. In five years, he's grown nearly a foot. And this was a guy that did not have a single offer on national signing day as a senior.
"I've learned a lot coming through JUCO," Kilby said. "Nothing is given to you."
He only started one season in high school, and now he will be playing for Bobby Petrino at Louisville. It's all part of what Sims has always labeled Opportunity USA.
"These guys aren't here to be a Broncbuster," Sims explained. "They're here to get their grades right and move on. We want to get these guys to their dream school. And we've done a pretty good job of accomplishing those goals."
Don't let Sims modest approach fool you. This is a guy who has several players in the NFL including All-Pro, Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David.
Wilson and Kilby's signing are the first two dominos to fall. But there are plenty of Major-Division I players left on a roster that was as talented as any team in the country.