Bengals' LB Logan Wilson Quotes 4.24.20
COURTESY OF CINCINNATI BENGALS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
What was your meeting like with the Bengals when you talked with them at the Senior Bowl? Did you suspect they had a lot of interest? "I thought that they were interested in me, but it was hard to gauge from that specific meeting."
What led to your position switch from defensive back to linebacker? Did you simply physically outgrow the position? "I think I always had the frame to put on weight. I just needed to get into a Division I weight program. But that was (Wyoming Head) Coach (Craig) Bohl's idea to switch me to linebacker, and I'm forever grateful he did that."
How much did playing receiver and defensive back help in your eventual switch to linebacker? "It definitely helps — especially in terms of my ball skills — playing as a receiver and then as a corner. Just understanding how to read a quarterback's eyes and when to break, and things like that. I think those all helped make me into the linebacker that I am today."
You're coming to a team with a need at your position. How aware of their situation are you, and the fact that you could see significant playing time right away? "I know they needed a linebacker, and I'm very (much) looking forward to the opportunity of coming in, earning the respect of the guys in the locker room, and then just being able to fly around and make some plays. I'm going to play at a very high (level of) effort. Bengals fans can count on that. I'm going to give Cincinnati everything I have." Are there any NFL linebackers you have studied on tape and/or modeled your game after? "I think Luke Kuechly is always a good one to watch. It's weird being asked that question, because I never used to watch linebackers growing up because I was a defensive back. I used to watch Champ Bailey as a corner. But in terms of linebackers, Luke Keuchly, Bobby Wagner is another good one, and so is Deon Jones of the Falcons."
How many times have you talked to Bengals senior defensive assistant Mark
Duffner since the Senior Bowl? "I don't know exactly. Probably three or four times."
How would you describe your style of play? What does being considered a three-down linebacker mean to you? "I think that being a three-down linebacker just means you're able to play the run and you're able to play the pass. I think being able to play (in) coverage as a linebacker is something that NFL teams look for. In today's game, especially the NFL, where it's a big passing league, being able to play coverage is huge. I definitely think I can do that."
What was your thought process as you approached and went to the Senior Bowl? It seemed like a business trip for you more than anything else ... "(I just told myself to) stick to everything that's gotten me to this point. That's just kind of how I roll. It wasn't like the way I carried myself at the Senior Bowl was different than how I carry myself when no one's watching. I always carry myself the same way. It's always a little (bit of a) business-like mentality in everything I do."
What has the draft process been like for you? "It's been kind of hectic — as in, kind of planned, so to say. Through the whole pre-draft process, there have been a lot of interviews, medicals and physicals, psychological tests. But it's been good. I wouldn't have it any other way, and I'm very thankful and very happy to be a Cincinnati Bengal." How familiar are you with the style of play in the AFC North, which is known as very physical division? Linebacker play is extremely important, and you have to play against Lamar Jackson, running out in space. It's physical, but teams try to spread you out and isolate you in space. Do you know much about the AFC North, and how big of a challenge do you think it might be? "I think it's going to be a very competitive division. But I think that's what's going to make us better as a team, playing against those guys twice a year. I'm excited to have the opportunity to play against those teams in the AFC North, and I do know it's a tough division. It always has been. It's been the division that's always been tough on the AFC side of the NFL."
How does a 240-pound linebacker end up with 10 interceptions in his college career? "That's just a credit to my ball skills background, just reading and reacting and making plays on the ball. I think that I do play coverage well, but that's because I grew up playing as a defensive back, playing safety and corner. I think that's helped me progress in the coverage aspect as a linebacker." How much have you talked to Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, and what sense of the defense did you get from talking to him? "I didn't really talk to him a whole lot. I talked more to (linebackers) Coach (Al) Golden. He's the one I talked to the most. We just talked about my defense and that kind of stuff. (They) were good conversations with them, though."
Are you rocking a Pearl Snaps shirt? "Pearl snaps? I don't have any idea what that is (laughs)."
Which would you rather do — make an interception, stop a running back for a loss on third down, or sack a quarterback on a blitz? Which gives you the biggest thrill? "An interception."
Did you ever return an interception for a touchdown in your career? "Yeah, I had a couple."
Were you surprised to come off the board this early, or did you expect to go sooner? "I wasn't really sure where I was going to go. I was expecting to go today at some point. (It) was just a matter of when. It's hard to say where you're going to go at a certain time, because there's so many things that can happen with the draft, but I'm very thankful to be a Bengal." Have you ever experienced anything like this uncertainty as you waited to be called? "No, I have not. It was definitely pretty stressful, just waiting around, waiting to get a phone call."
Head Coach Zac Taylor said they feel fortunate because they had you rated fairly high as a second round talent. Had you been contacted by any other teams? "You know, it's hard to say. I wasn't really sure. I wasn't personally contacted by any other teams. My agent might have been, but like I said, it was hard to say. Everything has to fall together in certain ways, and there's so many different ways things can fall, so I wasn't sure who else exactly was in the mix."
What are you studying and how close are you to your degree? "I graduated in December with a kinesiology degree."
Were you thinking about medical school? "No. I just like health and fitness. I just got it so I can use that whenever I'm done playing football."
You're a rehab guy, huh? "A little bit. I like to take care of myself." Can you tell us a little about your upbringing in a rural environment? Did you have a lot of outdoor pursuits? "I used to, a little bit. I used to go hunting with my dad growing up, but it was harder in college because the football season is in the fall, and so is hunting season, so it's hard to get away then. We'd occasionally go in the spring — I'd go turkey hunting with my dad — so that's always been good, but that was limited more once football came."
Growing up in Wyoming, who did you root for? "I was a Denver Broncos fan growing up."
When did playing in the NFL start feeling like a realistic possibility? "Toward the end of my junior year. We did a junior day where they measure your height and weight, and NFL scouts show up. That's when I realized I might have a shot."
When did you hit your growth spurt? Was it all at once or over time? "It was over time. I gradually put on weight. I got to Wyoming at 195 pounds, and through the course of those five years there, I just continued to put on weight."
It's quite the honor to being elected a three-time captain ... "For me, that was the best award I received while at Wyoming. It means the world to me because the guys that select you are the guys you go to battle with and grind with, day in and day out. I think that when they see the body of work you put in and look up to you as a leader, it's a very humbling feeling to get that respect from your teammates." You had 34 tackles for losses. That total seems to indicate some instincts? "I definitely have instincts. I think I read and react to plays very well, and that's why I have those stats."
What's the biggest thing you feel like you need to work on as you adjust to the NFL? "The game will be another level. Everything is bigger, faster, and stronger. I want to make sure I work on my technique with hand placement, and understanding the defense. Being aware and learning — not just my position, but what's going on around me."
Were you close with Josh Allen at all? "Yeah, we were pretty close. I talked to him before the pre-draft process started for me."
What kind of advice did he give you? "It was pretty simple. He said, 'Be yourself.' And that's all I needed."
When did you learn how to really watch film? "My sophomore year is when I really started to understand what to look for while watching film. Scottie Hazleton, my former linebackers coach. Before he came to us (at Wyoming), he was linebackers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He would teach us how to watch film, what to look for, things like that. The way I watch film now is a credit to him."