When Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is running sprints during the Tigers offseason workouts, the last person he wants to line up against is Micah Wilson.
Lock’s backup is one of the fastest players on the offense.
“He pushes me hard physically on the field,” Lock said. “You want a guy that’s going to push you physically and mentally. He does that. He’s got the physical aspect for it.”
Despite being a redshirt freshman and Lock having a career year as a junior, Wilson has received some playing time during the Tigers last four games. With Missouri blowing out opponents during its four-game winning streak, Wilson has been able to play the majority of the fourth quarter while Lock is able to sit.
Under Gary Pinkel, Missouri generally gave the younger quarterback on the depth chart an offensive series or two early in the second quarter or games when an upperclassman was starting under center. Barry Odom has worked in Wilson later in the game.
“If you get in a position you always want to get another quarterback some real live game reps, and I’m glad we’ve been able to do that and the situation that he’s been in there,” Odom said. “I’m hopeful that that will pay off in the future.”
Wilson’s father, Curtis, who played center at Missouri on the same offensive line as Lock’s father, Andy, prefers Odom’s style for his son. He said he understands why Pinkel did what he did but said the quarterback position is tougher to rotate than others on the field.
“Quarterbacks get into a rhythm,” Curtis Wilson said. “The toughest spot on the team to play is backup quarterback because you have to always be ready but typically your reps before games are typically limited.”
In the few games he’s played, the 6-foot-3 Wilson has shown flashes of being a solid dual-threat quarterback. He threw for 31 yards against Connecticut and also rushed for a 22-yard touchdown late in the game. Tackle Paul Adams praised Wilson for his decision-making, staying calm in the pocket and taking hits when needed.
Wilson, from Tulsa, Okla., originally committed to Boise State but flipped to Missouri late in the recruiting process. Wilson was offensive coordinator Josh Heupel’s first offer when he was at Utah State and reconnected with the prospect after being hired by Odom.
Both Heupel and Lock have said the playing time is good for Wilson because he’s able to learn from his mistakes in low-pressure situations.
Like Lock, Missouri was Wilson’s dream school and the two connected instantly on Wilson’s official visit. Lock said he sees a lot of himself in Wilson because he made a lot of mistakes early on and approached them with a similar mindset.
“The positives and the negatives come from past mistakes,” Lock said. “He seems like a little brother to me to be able to go in and talk to him because at one time I was thinking just like him.”
For now Lock has the edge under center. Wilson seems fine to have the edge in sprints.