When things go wrong on a football team and a player bolts, there's usually someone to go get them. This isn't always the case, depending on the circumstances and transgressions, but usually an adult or mentor is there to catch the player. After all, these are young men, with stress and realities of life piling up and pulling at them.
In many ways, a football team is a family. The players are brothers, and they interact as such -- fights, drama and moments of camaraderie are all part of the dynamic. The head coach is the dad, charged with overseeing, disciplining and ultimately molding the family to fit his version of the household. Position coaches take on somewhat of a dad role, but are more older brothers than anything else -- they spend time nurturing and nudging and getting to know the players on a personal level day-to-day.
Marquess Wilson walked away from the family on Sunday, packing up his things and moving out. He walked out of a practice and hasn't been around since. He broke and he left, and I can't really blame him for anything. I don't know the circumstances of his departure or what's going on in his life that caused him to leave, but it's something that's been bubbling for quite some time. It boiled over and he left -- simple as that.
Someone had to catch him. He has too much talent, too much potential and is too good a person to be left wandering alone. And if you've ever done something that gives the appearance you've screwed up -- especially at the age Wilson is -- you know it's hard to make that call or be the person that reaches out afterwards.
Dad wasn't an option -- Wilson probably wasn't sure how Mike Leach would react. I wondered if Dennis Simmons was -- they seemed to develop a relationship -- but that hasn't happened, and I know Simmons was hit by everything that had happened. And while Wilson has talked to at least one teammate, and likely many more, since Sunday, it's not the same as sitting down with an adult.
So he talked to grandpa. For the purposes of this exercise, grandpa is Bill Moos. When you need a bit of perspective and someone easy to talk to, grandpa is the way to go. You'll get a smack on the back of the head, a hug and will probably walk away with a different prospective.
The gist of it is simple: Moos said he was tough on Wilson but also gave him a hug and sent him on his way. They'll regroup later -- next week, Moos said -- giving Wilson time to sort out whatever is going on in his head. Everything is still up in the air, but Moos told Wilson to stay in shape, keep up in school and to take in the game on Saturday. As a player, the toughest thing to do is what your team -- you family -- compete without you. Moos also stuck to the talking points, telling Wilson he needed to work harder, lead more. And Moos promised he had Wilson's back and would see what happened.
This all comes from Christian, who was listening. I'll add audio later
It would serve Wilson well to take Moos' words to heart -- which I think he will -- and spend some time thinking about what's next. The kid can be anything he wants to be, as good a player as you'll see. He has that type of talent and when he's on, he's an absolutely incredible player.
But he's facing a lot of adversity right now. If he turns, faces it head-on and fights, I have little doubt he'll come out a better player and, more importantly, a better person in the end.
So now we wait to see if Grandpa Moos got through to him. I have a feeling he did, because Moos could probably get through to anyone, but we don't know anything for sure. We still don't know if Wilson would be welcomed back, to be honest. The fact that they did talk, though, says a lot.