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Mark Wilson: An Appreciation

It’s unfortunate that Wilson had to endure a miserable last two seasons in Clifton, but he deserves your thanks all the same.

NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 29 Cincinnati at Temple Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Career Numbers

  • 66 tackles
  • 11.5 TFL
  • 5.0 sacks
  • 2 fumble recoveries

Mark Wilson was a player who flew under the radar at Cincinnati, but for four-straight years, he was consistently putting in work on the defensive line. We all know the pressure up front has not been ideal for the Bearcats during that time, but there should still be nothing but respect for the durability and drive Wilson showed in 27 games of football.

As a two-star recruit, Wilson did not come to Clifton with a ton of pomp and circumstance and that’s just how he filled his role on the roster. After redshirting in 2013, he didn’t get a lot of work in 2014. But even though he only got in at defensive end in one game, he recorded his first career sack in a 41-3 win over SMU. So that means in 2014 Wilson averaged one sack per game, which is pretty impressive... if you leave out the context and actual sample size.


In 2015, Wilson really broke into the defensive rotation, as he appeared in nine games. He showed a lot of promise as well, tallying 20 tackles, including 5.5 for loss and two sacks.

Unfortunately, with the constant shifting on the coaching staff, Wilson was unable to really build on that foundation. Those 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks were both career-highs, even if he did record a personal best 26 tackles in 2016 as a junior. He added 2.5 stops for loss and a sack with that and then produced similar numbers this past season (17 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1.0 sack), his last as a Bearcat.

The Best of the Best

Oct. 18, 2014 at SMU

Wilson introduced himself to Bearcat nation with a sack and three total tackles.

Dec. 24, 2015 vs. San Diego State

In the Hawaii Bowl, Wilson’s lone postseason appearance, he had four tackles, including a sack.

Sept. 15, 2016 vs. Houston

The Cougars were really good in 2016, but that didn’t scare Wilson, who racked up a career-high eight tackles, one tackle for loss and a forced fumble.

Oct. 8, 2016 at UConn

This was a pretty miserable game to watch, but Wilson had his lone sack of the season.

Nov. 18, 2017 at East Carolina

There was no sack to be found in this game, but he had four tackles, including one for loss.

A Final Goodbye

Every team is built by all sorts of players. Stars, starters, role players and depth options. Not everyone will be universally known, and that’s how Wilson quietly went about his business. But players like Wilson are still important and even if the Bearcats struggled in his last two seasons, he was a reliable contributor on the defensive line. That’s something to appreciate.