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Eric Wilson: An Appreciation

Although the UC defense struggled mightily this season, Eric Wilson shined with his best year as a college athlete

NCAA Football: East Carolina at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Career Numbers

  • 265 tackles
  • 3.0 sacks
  • 14.5 tackles for Loss
  • 3 forcedfFumbles
  • 7 fumble recoveries
  • 4 passes deflected

Eric Wilson was one of the few Bearcats on the defensive side of the football that truly brought his “A” game week in and week out. Wilson’s instincts on the field and his aggressive play were something that fans loved to see every time he touched the field. Although this past season’s defensive unit wasn’t much too brag about, Wilson is one guy we will surely miss.

Wilson played for the Bearcats from 2014-2016, after transferring from Northwestern, and improved his game every step of the way. After starting out his first season as a Bearcat with just 30 tackles, he jumped up to 100 or more in his final two years with the team. Wilson was the first player since Greg Blair in 2012 and 2013 to have back to back seasons with 100 or more tackles.

Wilson’s senior campaign was surely his best . He posted 129 tackles, (which led the American Athletic Conference) 3.0 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss, two passes defended and two fumble recoveries. Wilson was a player who seemed to be at the right place at the right time when it mattered most. His outstanding play in his senior season earned him the Claude Rust Sr. Most Valuable Player Award, which is given out to the player the staff deems the most valuable player on the team for the year. Wilson also earned First Team All-Conference honors in 2016.

The Best of The Best

Sept. 19, 2015 at Miami (Ohio)

For his first multi-tackle performance as a Bearcat, Wilson recorded 18 tackles in a 37-33 win over the RedHawks.

Oct. 1, 2015 vs. Miami (Florida)

Miamis of all types feared Wilson in 2015 as he piled up another 14 tackles in the Bearcats’ 34-23 victory.

Sept. 1, 2016 vs. Tennessee-Martin

In the first game of the 2016 season facing UT-Martin, Wilson led the Bearcats defense with 15 total tackles and added two sacks to start the season off strong.

Oct. 8, 2016 at UConn

In a game against rival UConn, Wilson finished with 11 total tackles, nine of which were solo jobs.

Oct. 22, 2016 vs. East Carolina

In a Bearcat win over ECU, Wilson had himself a great day with 16 total tackles

Nov. 18, 2016 vs. Memphis

With the season almost finished, Wilson stepped up against Memphis with 12 tackles and a forced fumble.

A Final Goodbye

Wilson’s aggression, instincts and consistency will certainly be missed as UC’s program turns the page to a new chapter under coach Luke Fickell. Although Wilson’s final season might not have turned as planned, he was a player who truly made you want to watch the Bearcats on Saturday afternoons.

The final goodbye is more like a see you later, as Wilson is most likely going to be playing at the next level down the road. Rated as the 13th best inside linebacker by NFL Draft Scout, there is a very high chance that Wilson gets drafted in the lower rounds or ends up getting picked up as a free agent after the draft. Either way, Bearcats fans are very happy to have gotten to see him lace up in the red and black.