Jaime Wilson doesn't know why BCS teams passed him over, but head coach Bill Cubit and Western Michigan certainly aren't complaining.
The wideout out of Glades Central High in Belle Glade, Fla. just finished his senior season with 62 catches for over 900 yards and 24 touchdowns. Despite his impressive hands and route running, Wilson was passed over for scholarship offers by the numerous BCS programs that showed interest. Wilson did have a verbal offer from Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, but this was pulled when Weis took the head coaching job at Kansas.
Wilson did get offers from Marshall and Memphis of Conference USA and nearby Florida Atlantic of the Sun Belt, but committed to Western Michigan just one day after his January 27th official visit. He became WMU's highest rated recruit in the 2012 class, as a high three-star and the 73rd best receiver prospect in the country. Wilson knows current players on the roster like Rontavious Atkins and Demetrius Pettway, and feels that he'll be comfortable in Kalamazoo.
"I knew some of the players up there, and I know guys go up there and do well from down here," Wilson said. "It'll be good to get out of Florida, meet new people. I know it gets cold a lot, but that's just something I'm going to have to get used to."
While Wilson checks in at an average 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds and doesn't have blazing speed, his route running and hands are surprisingly polished for a player of his age. This fits in well with Western Michigan's style, as they have relied on great route runners like Jordan White and Greg Jennings in recent years to produce huge numbers in the passing game.
Working on speed and athleticism is the top priority for Wilson before reaching the collegiate level. He says that the coaching staff has told him they want him to play right away as a slot receiver, and he's looking forward to hitting the ground running with veteran quarterback Alex Carder in the fall.
"It'll be good, because [Carder] has been there a while, he knows the offense really well, he can help me learn, help me out with my routes," Wilson said.
Glades Central ran a spread offense similar to WMU's in Wilson's time at the school, which will help him get acclimated to the complex and fast-paced offense that Bill Cubit has put together.
Most players coming into college have aspirations of moving on to the next level. Wilson is no exception, but he is somewhat of a rarity in that he has plans for post-college life if professional football isn't a long-term option. Wilson will major in business administration at WMU and has a specific line of work in mind.
"I'm hoping to go on to the NFL, but if that doesn't work out I want to use my business degree to maybe open up a Boy's and Girl's Club down here and help out the young kids," Wilson said.