2017 FBU Player of the Week for Week 3: Dennis Wilson – Par Hills

Dennis Wilson with FBU's Tom McGuire

Every week Morris Sussex Sports, along with co-sponsors Football University and Parisi Speed School of Morristown & Sparta, identify one player out of the 37 teams we cover as our Player of the Week. We look beyond just stats. Our goal is to honor the best individual performance and how that effort was able to lift his team beyond its perceived boundaries. If you play varsity football in Morris Sussex next week just could quite possibly be your turn to be the FBU Player of the Week Powered by Parisi Speed School.

Week 3 wasn’t without it’s share of heroic performances. Mount Olive QB Liam Anderson was absolutely insane by throwing for 277-yards and three touchdowns, rushing for 145-yards and four touchdowns and topping it off with six tackles and an INT on defense in the Marauders 61-27 shallacking of High Point. Jefferson receiver Drew Benfatti was spectacular in the Falcons 38-19 defeat over Mendham by picking up 124-yards and 2 TDs receiving and being perfect on extra points. And Pope John linebacker Ryan Greenhagen was stellar in the Johnnies 49-14 defeat over Delbarton after he was in on just about every tackle and picked up a fumble for a defensive touchdown.

However, as good as all of those performances were, there was one player who’s performance that caught the eye of the Morris Sussex Sports’ writing staff the most and that was Par Hills’ defensive back and receiver Dennis Wilson. After being down 0-14 against a very good Roxbury team, the super sophomore was able to steal an interception in the endzone to help turn the tide. Then in the second half, the athletic receiver was nothing less than super as he ducked and juked defenders much bigger than him to extend his yards-after-catch for key first down after key first down. Wilson was able to connect with QB Nick Verducci twice for TDs in a game in which the Vikings came back to win 28-14 in what was a Morris-Sussex classic of a game.

Wilson’s performance was enough for the Morris Sussex Sports writers to nominate him for the FBU Player of the Week for Week 3. MSS caught up with this week’s superstar to find out what it’s like to compete at a high level as a sophomore, who his role model is and which NFL player does he most resemble.

Morris Sussex Sports: What​ ​was​ ​your​ ​team’s​ ​goal​ ​coming​ ​into​ ​this​ ​season?
Dennis Wilson: My​ ​team​ ​and​ ​I​ ​both​ ​share​ ​athe ​goal​ ​of​ ​making​ ​it​ ​back​ ​to​ ​MetLife.

MSS: Did​ ​you​ ​think​ ​you’d​ ​make​ ​as​ ​big​ ​of​ ​an​ ​impact​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Vikings​ ​as​ ​a​ ​sophomore?
DW: I​ ​believed​ ​I​ ​could​ ​make​ ​as​ ​big​ ​as​ ​an​ ​impact​ ​with​ ​support​ ​of​ ​my​ ​fellow​ ​teammates.

MSS: What​ ​was​ ​going​ ​through​ ​your​ ​head​ ​as​ ​you​ ​were​ ​marching​ ​back​ ​in​ ​the​ ​second​ ​half of this game?
DW: In​ ​the​ ​locker​ ​room​ ​at halftime I​ ​knew​ ​I​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​be​ ​confident​ ​and​ ​play​ ​with​ ​emotion​ ​on​ ​the​ ​field. On​ ​the field, ​all​ ​I​ ​could​ ​think​ ​about​ ​was​ ​that​ ​we​ ​had​ ​to​ ​score​ ​on​ ​our​ ​first​ ​drive​ of the second half ​to​ ​make​ ​it​ ​a​ ​one possession​ ​game.​ ​After​ ​that​, ​I​ ​believed​ ​we​ ​had​ shifted the momentum ​and​ ​we​ ​were​ ​determined to​ ​win​ ​that​ ​game.​ ​After​ ​a​ ​few​ ​more​ ​stops​ ​and​ ​a​ ​few​ ​huge​ ​plays​ ​on​ ​offense​ ​we​ ​were able to win it together​ ​as​ ​a​ ​team.

MSS: When​ ​did​ ​you​ ​have​ ​a​ ​sense​ ​that​ ​you​ ​were​ ​good​ ​at​ ​football?
DW: When I was in 7th grade, 8th grade Coach​ ​Joyce​ ​told​ ​me​ ​that​ ​he​ ​was​ ​very​ ​excited​ ​for me​ ​to​ ​join​ ​the​ team the following ​year.​ ​It made me​ ​realize ​when​ ​he​ ​was​ ​making​ ​a​ ​big​ ​deal​ ​about me​ ​joining​ ​the​ ​team​ ​the next​ ​year​ ​that​ ​I​ ​was​ ​good​ ​at​ ​football.

MSS: What​ ​was​ ​your​ ​”welcome​ ​to​ ​varsity​ ​football”​ ​moment?
DW: During​ ​a​ ​scrimmage​ ​against​ ​Lenape​ ​Valley​ ​I​ ​was​ ​a​ ​starter​ ​at​ ​safety​ ​and​ ​there​ ​was​ ​a​ ​run​ ​to​ ​the left. When​ ​I​ ​came​ ​up​ ​to​ ​make​ ​the​ ​tackle​ ​I​ ​got​ ​ran​ ​over​ ​by​ ​a​ ​huge​ ​opponent​ ​on​ ​the​ ​other​ ​team. Wilson​ ​Done​ ​said​ ​“You​ ​got​ ​planted,​ ​welcome​ ​to​ ​varsity!”​ ​For​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​the​ ​scrimmage​ ​many teammates​ ​and​ ​coaches​ ​said​ ​the​ ​same.​ ​I​ ​then​ ​realized​ ​I​ ​was​ ​on​ ​varsity​ ​and it​ ​wouldn’t​ ​be​ ​easy​ ​but the​ ​results​ ​would be ​rewarding.

MSS: Who​ ​is​ ​your​ ​role​ ​model?
DW: My​ ​role​ ​model​ ​is​ ​Coach​ ​Joyce.​ ​He​ ​has​ ​a​ ​way​ ​of​ ​working​ ​with​ ​young football​ ​players​ ​to​ ​make​ ​us​ ​the​ ​best​ ​we​ ​could​ ​be​ ​on​ ​and​ ​off​ ​the​ ​field.​ ​Along​ ​with​ ​coaching​ ​me​ ​in football,​ ​he​ ​was​ ​my​ ​speed​ ​and​ ​agility​ ​trainer​ ​at​ ​Category​ ​Five.​ ​He​ ​put​ ​in​ ​countless​ ​hours​ ​into​ ​his players​ ​making​ ​us​ ​hardworking,​ ​dedicated,​ ​and​ ​determined.

MSS: What​ ​current​ ​or​ ​former​ ​NFL​ ​player​ ​do​ ​you​ ​think​ ​resembles​ ​you​ ​on​ ​the​ ​field?
DW: I​ ​think​ ​I​ ​could​ ​be​ ​most​ ​comparable​ ​to​ ​Odell​ ​Beckham​ ​Jr.​ ​because​ ​of​ ​my​ ​speed​ ​and​ ​my​ ​ability​ ​to get​ ​yards​ ​after​ ​the​ ​catch.

MSS: How​ ​do​ ​you​ ​prepare​ ​yourself​ ​in​ ​the​ ​off-season?
DW: During​ ​the​ ​off-season​ ​my​ ​team​ ​and​ ​I​ ​are​ ​in​ ​the​ ​weight​ ​room​ ​every​ ​day​ ​and​ ​I​ ​run​ ​track​ ​in​ ​the spring.​ ​I​ also do​ ​speed​ ​and​ ​agility​ ​training​ ​at​ ​Category​ ​Five.

MSS: When​ ​Nick​ ​Verducci​ ​won​ ​his​ ​first​ ​state​ ​title,​ ​you​ ​were​ ​in​ ​6th​ ​grade.​ ​What​ ​is​ ​it​ ​like​ ​to​ ​have​ ​a veteran​ ​leader​ ​like​ ​that​ ​as​ ​your​ ​QB?
DW: Nick​ ​guides​ ​us​ ​to​ ​be​ ​the​ ​best​ ​players​ ​possible​ ​and​ ​teaches​ ​us​ ​determination​ ​and competitiveness.

MSS: Who​ ​is​ ​the​ ​most​ ​intimidating​ ​player​ ​on​ ​your​ ​team?
DW: I​ ​find​ ​Vinnie​ ​Bianchi​ ​to​ ​be​ ​the​ ​most​ ​intimidating​ ​player​ ​on​ ​the​ ​team.

MSS: Who​ ​is​ ​the​ ​best​ ​pure​ ​athlete?
DW: Nick​ ​Verducci

MSS: Who’s​ ​finishing​ ​1-2-3​ ​in​ ​the​ ​forty?
DW: 1) Wilson​ ​Done 2) Nick​ ​Verducci 3) Me

MSS: Who​ ​would​ ​win​ ​a​ ​taco​ ​eating​ ​contest?
DW: Easily​ ​Justin​ ​Gurth.

MSS: Who​ ​is​ ​the​ ​absolute​ ​strongest?
DW: Justin​ ​Gurth

MSS: What​ ​was​ ​the​ ​funniest​ ​thing​ ​that​ ​ever​ ​happened​ ​in​ ​practice​ ​or​ ​in​ ​a​ ​game?
DW: During​ ​the​ ​game​ ​Justin​ ​Jasecki​ ​went​ ​to​ ​bat​ ​down​ ​the​ ​ball​ ​when​ ​he​ ​missed​ ​it​ ​hit​ ​him​ ​in​ ​the helmet​ ​and​ ​bounced​ ​at​ ​least​ ​10​-feet​ ​in​ ​the​ ​air.

MSS: This​ ​season​ ​will​ ​be​ ​a​ ​resounding​ ​success​ ​if…
DW: …the​ ​team​ ​can​ ​make​ ​it​ ​back​ ​to​ ​states​ ​this​ ​year​ ​and​ ​this​ ​time​ ​win​ ​it​ ​for​ ​our​ ​seniors.

MSS: Congrats Dennis and best of luck the rest of the way!
DW: Thank​ ​you​ ​so​ ​much​ ​for​ ​this​ ​great​ ​opportunity​, ​it​ ​means​ ​so​ ​much!

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