Eugene Wilson’s high football IQ allowing for early impact

True freshman receiver Eugene Wilson has made an early impact on the Gators through two weeks of the 2023 season, hauling in six receptions for 60 yards while adding two rushes for 27 yards. Wilson is tied for second on the team in receptions, third in yards, and is averaging 11.6 yards per touch.

The Tampa, Florida native is the highest rated player on Florida’s offense among any player with more than five snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

Despite not showing up to campus until summer, Wilson has logged 66 snaps, the third most among Florida’s wide receiver room.

Florida’s QB Graham Mertz indicated that Wilson’s ability to pick up information quickly led to the young phenom seeing the field early on in his Gators’ career.

“I think one thing he did, yeah, early he might have had a few things he messed up on early in camp, but it was how quick he realized that, learned from it, moved forward,” Mertz said on Wilson. “I always call it to the toolbox, took that tool, put it in a toolbox. Now he’s carrying a big toolbox around everywhere.”

“That was impressive at that young of an age,” Mertz added. “You come in, you want to do everything right. When something doesn’t go right, it can kind of affect you. Shoot… It dwells. For him, it was all business. I might have messed this up, but I learned from it.”

How you handle mistakes determines your success on the football field, an area Wilson took advantage of during fall practice.

“Any time you’re in practice, someone’s going to make a mistake, you’re going to make a mistake, I’ve made mistakes. It’s the time after that, what happens. Do you dwell on it, or learn from it, move forward and apply the information you were taught,” Mertz said. “You come in, you’re going to have those slip-ups when you’re a young guy. It’s what you do after that that sets you up for the future. Now he’s [Wilson] out there making plays.”

Wilson’s high football IQ is something that Mertz believes he picked up from the other receivers in the room.

“It’s great. As a quarterback, I think I can speak for that whole room, they’re all wired like that. I think that’s where he got it from. He saw guys do that right when he got in,” Mertz said on Wilson’s football IQ and skillset.

“That just gets me excited because I know we’re on the same page,” Mertz said on Florida’s WR room. “I know that I can come to them with anything, they can come to me with anything. We’re only going to get better.”

The good news for Gator Nation is that we have only seen a glimpse of what Eugene Wilson can do on the football field. The future is bright for the 5-10, 170-pound speedy receiver.


Nick Marcinko
Nick is a recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Telecommunications. He is passionate about all sports but specifically baseball and football. Nick interned at Inside the Gators and worked part time with Knights247 before joining the Gator Country family. Nick enjoys spending his free time golfing and at the beach.