On April 21, the Governors of Austin Peay football added yet another transfer to the recruiting class of 2020. William Wilcox, via Middle Tennessee State, serves as the sixth transfer to commit to Clarksville for the upcoming season.
Unlike most transfers, however, Wilcox’s shift of schools will serve as a return to what’s familiar.
The former Blue Raider is an alumnus of Northeast High School, a school located less than 15 minutes from the campus of APSU. Wilcox led the Eagles in receptions (26) and receiving yards (420) his senior year, leading to an offer to play for the Blue Raiders.
Despite receiving a scholarship to play for the Govs in 2016, the wideout felt that his talents would be better suited with MTSU’s winning culture.
The four years to follow for Wilcox were far from anything he could have ever imagined: “It was probably the toughest time of my life,” He said. “Going from being ‘that guy’ to being just ‘we’ll see what happens here, we’ll see what happens there…’
“I would say definitely going from playing a lot at Northeast to going to MTSU and not playing at all was definitely a humbling experience, it definitely made me a better person. I don’t take it for granted, but I would say it was the toughest time I’ve been through for sure.”
Wilcox was grateful under his circumstances, nevertheless. The opportunity to work inside of a Conference USA program for four seasons built character and gave the Northeast standout reassurance that better things were to come.
Despite playing snaps at receiver and linebacker for Middle Tennessee, Wilcox has been told that his position for the Governors will be more focused towards tight end in 2020. His 6’6 frame should help the Govs on inside receiving routes, filling a big need for a position that saw minimal catching production last season.
The opportunity to return to Clarksville is something that the former Eagle cherishes dearly: “It means the world, really,” Wilcox said. “My mom lives in Clarksville, my dad is from Guthrie, Ky. so he’s close: my brother graduated from Northeast, my sister graduates from Northeast in May.
“Being at home and making my mom proud and my dad proud, knowing that I’m coming home to where I grew up at and getting the chance to do what I wanted to do the whole entire time.”
Wilcox plans to have two additional years of eligibility as a Governor. In the event that 2020 becomes his last season, his hope is to prove to those around him, as well as himself, that his labor throughout an athletic career was not in vain.
“I’ve always been the type to just keep grinding until something happens,” He said. “I feel like I deserve the opportunity and I worked for an opportunity. I feel like now I can showcase it and give my parents that joy that I always told them I was going to give them from playing the game of football.
“What I want to do is use football as a platform to start my different adventures and things I want to do, such as taking care of my parents for all they’ve done for me: they were there for me whenever I wasn’t playing and whenever times were tough they just kept telling me ‘You’re a good player and we believe in you still.’ The whole process through it, my parents never doubted me about my play at all, my mom would always say ‘It’s just God testing your faith.’ Quit to them was never an option.”