It's a long way from Big Man on Campus to biggest market in the country, which is why it can be overwhelming to play quarterback in New York. The 24/7 scrutiny can get into a player's head (see: Geno Smith), the paparazzi can find you at all times (Mark Sanchez) and the media attention can even cause a pro's pro (Chad Pennington) to have a couple of bad moments in front of the cameras.
In 11 days, the Jets are expected to draft BYU's Zach Wilson, who was born, raised and schooled in Utah. Is he ready for Gotham? Can he lead a perennial loser out of the abyss?
ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who spent time with Wilson and the other top quarterback prospects while filming his new ESPN series "QB21," offered his insights this week in a conference call with reporters.
"What I liked about Zach Wilson is this guy has a chip on his shoulder," Herbstreit said. "He wears a wristband that says 'Prove them wrong,' and I was like, 'Who are you trying to prove wrong, my man? Like, everyone loves you.' But he wasn't recruited heavily. He grew up in Salt Lake. His dad played at Utah. Utah didn't recruit him. And I think, from that point on, he had a chip on his shoulder, and he has not let it go."
Herbstreit mentioned how Wilson, wanting to stay sharp last spring during the COVID-19 quarantine, made a 10-hour drive (each way) to Southern California to meet with his personal coach, former BYU quarterback John Beck. He did that several times.