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!