No comparison: Marco Wilson wants to leave his own mark at Florida

Florida defensive back Marco Wilson (3) makes a play during practice. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

After starting all 11 games at cornerback as a true freshman and recording 34 tackles and a team-high 10 pass break-ups, the consensus is Marco Wilson had an outstanding first season at Florida.

But that opinion is not unanimous.

There is one major dissenter.


“Honestly, I wasn’t impressed by my freshman season,” he said. “I know I’ve got a lot more to do. I don’t even pay attention when everybody says I’m good. I know I’ve got a lot more to go.

“I’ve got a lot of work to do because I want to be the best. I want to be known as the best and I want to end up going on to the next level, and when I get to the next level I want to be the best there too.”

Wilson, of course, has a long way to go to get where he wants to be. But he’s off to a promising start based on his overall performance last season.

He never looked like, or played like, a true freshman at one of the most difficult and demanding positions in football.

But Wilson isn’t satisfied. He’s driven to do better, always better. And that’s a big part of his game and who he is as an athlete.

“I just think I could have made more plays (last season),” he said. “Even if I go out this season and get 10 picks, I still won’t be satisfied. I still need more. I need to get 11, I need to get 12, I need to get more.

“I just know people are always going to expect you do more. I expect myself to do more because you do something good and one thing goes wrong, they look at the wrong. So you’ve always got to be throwing good on yourself.”

Wilson has learned a lot about succeeding at this level — and reaching the next level, the NFL — from his older brother Quincy, a second-round NFL draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts, who came out after his junior season a year ago.

In terms of development, Marco may be ahead of Quincy’s pace. Marco started 11 games his true freshman season, while Quincy started only two in his.

The brothers look alike and seem to have similar playing styles. But Marco has already grown tired of being compared to his brother.

“I don’t like it,” he said. “Because I’m not my brother. I’m my own person. I play like how I play. He’s a great corner, I’m a great corner too, but we’re not the same.”

Marco does listen to his older brother.

“Always, after every game,” he said. “He’s always watching. Because he’s been in the same shoes as me so he knows how it is. He’s just always just making sure I’m on top of my stuff.”

Quincy had his breakout season at Florida in his sophomore year, playing in all 14 games, starting nine, and recording 26 tackles and two interceptions.

Some might argue Marco has already had his breakout season. Whether it was or not in 2017, he plans to build on his strong start at Florida with an even better sophomore season.

He’s put himself in a position to do so. He’s gained weight and strength in the offseason and he’s immersed himself in a new defensive playbook.

“I’ve grown like 10 pounds,” Wilson said. “Last year I played the whole season at like 178 and now I’m 188. So, I’m really happy about that. I didn’t like the weight I was playing at.

“And I feel smarter. As you get older, you start focusing on other things. I know that playing this game is not always about being physical. When you get to the next level, dudes that are in the league for 10, 11 years, it’s about their mind and being smart.

“There are a lot of dudes that are athletic and they leave the league early because they weren’t smart enough to do what’s right on the field.”


    • Rivals is a joke and their rankings have always been way off. I mean they’ve got Crouch as the #1 overall player and 247 doesn’t even have him in the top 20. He’s barely cracking the top 40 on ESPN. Not sure why they’re even considered a reputable recruiting service anymore. In 2010 the Gators had the consensus #1 class on every website except Rivals. They’ve always been critical of the Gators, so it’s not surprising they’re not on this list or that a team like Tenn is. Funny thing is most of those schools have Crouch looking at them, so I guess that’s their criteria for the potential of being pleased.

      • It turns out Rivals was the only one that got it right about the 2010 class. How many championships did they win?
        By the way, Marco Wilson does have something in common not mentioned. He’s already had his first installment of having his ass whipped by FSU, with future ass-whippings in his future.

    • GatorG (Mike Winter). Amazing that you did not learn to count at UNF. Clemson, out of that list, is the only school on “our” FSU’s schedule. And that one team should be real scary for you and FSU. But UNF has no worries. They do not have a football program.

      • Tampa, I know you’re a Gator heart & soul….no doubt in my military mind…..and you certainly have my respect for your football savvy to boot. But I don’t think GatorG is a troll, let alone “Mike Winter”. What’s your evidence?

      • Tampa,
        Id agree with you normally, but if it‘s one person on this site who i respect completely, its gator-6. If he vouches for gatorg, id believe him. Ive never read a bad post from the guy. If anything, he can be too diplomatic, id like to hear his true thoughts sometime when he isnt cocerned about ruffling feathers. Either way, gatorg is on our side.

        • Geez…..thanks, Will. The Gator-6 you see now is not the same guy who spent 32 years on active duty in the Army, though……after years of command where I had to fight tooth and nail for my units and men, I retired and decided life is too short to continue with that personality. If I’d known civilians could have this much fun and not be pissed off all the time. hell, I probably would have retired at 20!

          I really believe GatorG is a good man though.

          • Gator-6,
            Like I said, I respect completely. I thank-you, sir, for your service. However, I still disagree on your timeline regarding how long it will take to get back to recruiting the bug boys. Yes, 3 or 4 years is probably the right amount if time. But it will really only take a year or 2 of double digit wins, maybe top 10 ranking for a week, to get back in the mix for the big recruits. Look at ucf, it took 1 season and frost couldve recruited big. We are already florida, all eyes are on mullen and we pull off some upsets, i believe we can get big recruits immediatedly. Im not saying we will win those games, only that the recruiting rewards would be immediate.

  1. This kid played hard when some others found a reason not to last year. If I’m the NFL and have to bet 9.4 million on a player this is a guy I need to look at…even though most DBS never quite turn out so well for that first pick.

  2. I don’t think it means much, GatorG…..not yet……but I’ll tell you this much: I don’t like reading stuff like this any more than you do. But, it doesn’t change my belief in Dan Mullen, the quality of his staff, and the quality of this and future Gator teams……we’ll be back within 3 years. Thanks for sharing though….took some guts when you know all you’re going to get back is friendly fire. Hang in there, brother.

    • I agree, David. Our biggest problem is that our closest rivals have been out recruiting us for some time and every indication is that they will continue to do so in 2019. Unfortunately, we’re not a hot and appealing program in the minds of the top recruits and are getting seconds and thirds. I hope that Mullen recognizes this and does something quickly before it’s too late.

      • And that IS the problem….a big problem, Tim. It will only resolve when we get back to double digits every year and higher ranking. I’d say that will start trending in about 3 years; God, I hope we have the patience to let Mullen build it.

          • Dude, man-up and address the points raised rather than dodge them in such a cowardly manner. You, Tampa, and DAlligator get all wussed out and delusional with this Mike Winter thing. Enough already.

          • Well, the CVA must have done more damage than I thought then, BBQ. But, it spared the frontal cortex so I’m sure I don’t have judgement issues (if you forget about occasionally forgetting to put clothes on before I go to the grocery store, that is).

            I don’t know……TebowCurse speaks for himself, Tim is a toss up (sometimes), but GatorG? I don’t think so.

        • Gator-6
          You really think it will take that long? Idont see why it couldnt be a couple years. Just a positive, confident team attitude and the obvious strength and conditioning can be huge. We can easily win a couple we shouldnt, roll out jones next year, and at least be on the 5 stars radar. The thing is we need a season or 2 where we steal some wins with less talent(coditioning, attitude, coaching is typically how that is done) to get the 10 or 11 wins you were talking about. I personally think we have the perfect coach to take a group of guys that may not be the big name recruits and put out a competitive team. And its not like we dont have talent, he has done more with less.

          • I’m being realistic as the East begins its new trajectory, Will, and a little conservative at the same time since there are some variables not accounted for yet. I’m all in for Mullen and staff though, he is the right guy to do it and I believe he will build championship teams. And, maintain them. I sure as hell agree with you! Go Gators….

  3. David. What you have seen is him playing in a Georgia spring game, against the Georgia second team defense with no one allowed to hit him. Jeff Driskel and John Brantley were all world in spring games. But what you have not seen is the freshman QB in a real game in the fall with SEC defensive players coming at him. Time will tell. I do think Fields is the real deal, but he is a freshman still. Spring games never turn freshman QBs into seasoned All Americans.