When it boiled down to it, Jack Wilson chose the school he’d always dreamed of playing for.
That’s how the 2016 Radnor attackman/midfielder ended up choosing Maryland after flirting with Ohio State and Penn State.
“I chose Maryland because when I stepped on campus, it felt like home,” Wilson said. “And it’s always been a dream of mine since I was a little kid to play for Maryland.”
Wilson, who also considered Virginia for some time, was arguably the freshman who made the biggest impact in the county last year. He racked up 20 goals for the Central League co-champion Raiders and saw valuable minutes out of the midfield, proving to be a strong transition player whose speed added an extra dimension for Radnor.
That play endeared him to the powerhouse Terps, who started showing major interest in Wilson after Radnor beat archrival Conestoga, 8-7, in the District One third-place game. Maryland hasn’t talked to Wilson about whether it prefers him at attack or out of the midfield, but that’s not an issue for him.
“I love Coach (John) Tillman and I love the coaching staff,” said Wilson, who plays club for NXT. “(Position) doesn’t really matter. I’ll go play wherever they need me. I’ll do whatever it takes, just as long as I’m out on the field.”
With Maryland’s move to the Big Ten, Wilson will have plenty of opportunities to see his other two finalists during his career. He raved about both the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions, but ultimately, the appeal of playing for his childhood favorite won out in the end.
“Ohio State and Penn State are both great schools,” Wilson said. “The facilities are awesome and everything, but (Maryland) has always been my dream as a little kid.”
Wilson still has three more years of high school to go, though, and he figures to be coach John Begier‘s go-to guy in the coming future. Radnor loses 17 seniors from a team that went 18-5 and reached the first round of states – a group highlighted by All-Delco and All-American selections Brendan Manderack and Peter Donato - but Wilson doesn’t expect the Raiders to drop off.
“We lost 17 seniors,” Wilson said, “but we’re bringing back a lot and we’re looking to make a run at the Central League and beyond that. Teams better not overlook us.”
Wilson becomes the sixth Delco 2016 to make a verbal commitment and the first player not from The Haverford School to do so. The entire list of Delco commitments can be found here.
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