“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” This is a quote that can summarize Keenan Wilson, ‘18, and how he became known as the starting safety for the Wittenberg football team. With this quote in mind, Wilson was able to overcome the odds and win three varsity letters thus far in his career.
After looking up to his oldest brother Zac and wanting to be just like him, Wilson followed in his brothers footsteps and began playing football at the age of seven. Growing up, Wilson had always been known as the littlest kid on the team, but he never let that get in the way of pursuing his dream of playing college football, just like his older brother.
“I wanted to play football at Wittenberg with my older brother, but everyone told me I was too small or undersized,” Wilson said. “That’s why I work my butt off year around, 365 days, so that I could prove everyone wrong and help my team and teammates in whatever way possible.”
There are no off days when it comes to being a member of the Wittenberg football team, and that’s why it is so easy to see how Wilson and the football program have seen so much success in recent years.
This past year, Wilson and the Tigers made history with their first-round playoff win over Thomas Moore College. This game went into four different overtimes and became known as the longest game to be played in division three history, but for Wilson, he’ll always remember the game for something else.
Thomas Moore started the fourth overtime with the ball, forcing the Tigers defense to come out on the field and get a stop. After holding them to only a few yards, Thomas Moore was forced to attempt a field goal, but was unsuccessful because a determined Wilson was able to fight his way through the line and block the kick.
“Blocking that kick felt amazing. My teammates were telling me how I just won us the game,” Wilson said. “But, I told them it wasn’t over yet. Our offense still needed to go out onto the field and I still needed to hold the game-winning field goal for our kicker.”
From winning three varsity letters to being named the NCAC Player of the Week, Wilson has been able to accomplish many things with his football career, and he looks to do even bigger things as he prepares for his senior season.
The Tigers will be playing in some tough environments next fall, but Wilson isn’t afraid of a few road games. He is expecting the team to go undefeated, win the conference, make playoffs and have a chance to play for the national championship.
Without football in his life, Wilson would be a completely different person than who he is today. Not only has it brought his family closer, but it has taught him to never be satisfied and to always work harder than you did the day before. Once his playing career is over, Wilson will be able to say that he is better person because of the lessons he has learned from playing football.