Zach Wilson, the BYU football player who elected to forgo his final season to enter into military service, is a staunch and vocal member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). His faith and his football commitment make him a very popular character around these parts. Some would argue that the LDS faith and the Mormon religion itself is a reason he made the decision to join the military, while others would say that his faith and his football ability are not mutually exclusive. Last night, ESPN’s SportsNation asked the question: is Zach Wilson Mormon?
Unlike the Super Bowl, Zach Wilson is not known for his offensive prowess; instead, he has repeatedly proven his value to the New York Mets in his role as the team’s closer. Wilson leads all major league pitchers with 19 saves in 2014, and he has maintained great health throughout the season.
Zach Wilson was a first round pick out of Utah St. in 2008, and he’s yet to match the production he showed as a rookie. He hasn’t played 1,000 games yet, hasn’t ever finished either Top-10 or Top-20 in the NHL in Goals, Assists or Points.
While top 2021 NFL draft selections Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, and Mac Jones plied their skills in the ACC, Big 10, and SEC, respectively, No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson of the New York Jets labored in relative obscurity to most football fans at Brigham Young University. BYU has produced a Heisman Trophy winner and many great NFL quarterbacks (Jim McMahon, Steve Young) (Ty Detmer). Still, most people are aware that it is the country’s biggest university affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church. As a result, many NFL fans wonder whether Zach Wilson is a Mormon.
Zach Wilson was born and raised in Utah.
Zach Wilson | Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Patrick McDermott
Zach Wilson of the New York Jets grew up in Draper, Utah, a town 20 minutes south of Salt Lake City. According to the Desert News, Mike and Lisa Wilson raised their family only a few streets away from Corner Canyon High, where Zach played high school football.
According to MaxPreps, the QB played varsity as a sophomore but only appeared in three games, completing 10 of his 16 passes. He began to flourish in his first two seasons as a full-time starter. Wilson had 353 completions for 5,842 yards, 45 throwing touchdowns, and 14 interceptions at the conclusion of his school career.
The young quarterback grew up idolizing the Utah Utes college football team, but he was never offered a scholarship. Wilson was a junior pledge to Boise State before decommitting and signed with BYU, the Utes’ greatest in-state rival.
Is Zach Wilson a devout follower of the Mormon faith?
QB Zach Wilson (called the Mormon Mahomes by @DrewfromJersey) is playing his last game at BYU tonight at 7 p.m. ET; he has 30 touchdowns, three interceptions, a 10.8 YPA, and a 73.2 completion %. Please don’t scream in my mentions; I’m simply passing along the information! pic.twitter.com/p6pDLNHJB5
December 22, 2020 — Joe Caporoso (@JCaporoso)
Zach Wilson is a Mormon, which is one of the reasons BYU was a good match for the signal-caller.
Wilson, on the other hand, isn’t a regular attendee at the church. While he is a member of the church, the Utah native stated that he is not an active member and does not consider himself a spokesperson of Mormonism like some other well-known BYU alumni, such as former NBA guard Jimmer Fredette and NFL players Taysom Hill and Daniel Sorensen. Wilson explains:
It’s not that I’m against it; it’s just that I didn’t grow up in a church family. I’m not the church’s “poster boy.”… My entire childhood, I was never really a churchgoer, and I wasn’t really engaged in it. My family and I share the same principles and beliefs as the church, but before I came to BYU, I didn’t know much about the teachings and other aspects of the religion.
On becoming a Mormon, Zach WIlson
The Jets quarterback has also provided more in-depth responses regarding his faith. “I consider myself to be a very spiritual person. Wilson said, “I feel like I’ve always had a wonderful connection with God throughout my life.” “At BYU, I’ve gotten a little more into it.”
At BYU, he also became more recognizably a Morman. His ability and playing style earned him the nicknames “Mormon Mahomes” and “Mormon Manziel” at school.
The quarterback of the New York Jets hails from a wealthy family.
Zach Wilson’s uncle, JetBlue founder David Neeleman, has organized a chartered aircraft from Salt Lake City to Charlotte for supporters who want to pay their own way to see Wilson make his NFL debut. | courtesy of @brandonljudd https://t.co/RqYXsIhHRy
July 11, 2021 — Deseret News (@DeseretNews)
While Zach Wilson is now the most well-known member of his family, he isn’t the most fascinating or accomplished, and he isn’t the wealthiest. Because of his mother’s side of the family, this is the case.
Gary and Rose Neeleman have seven children, one of them is Lisa Wilson (née Neeleman). According to the Desert News, the eldest kid, John, is a partner in a Seattle law company, while the oldest daughter, Julie, “manages the family’s 10,000-acre Zion Ponderosa Resort near Zion National Park.”
Pamela, a Wyndham hotel manager, comes next, followed by Stephen, a former Utah State football player who went on to become a trauma surgeon before founding the country’s biggest health savings account business. Lisa, a mother and personal trainer, is the next in line, followed by Mark, the youngest. He’s a Brazilian entrepreneur who’s established many companies.
The second-oldest Neeleman, David, is the most well-known. He is a pioneer in the aviation industry who invented many of the innovations we use today and founded JetBlue, among other airlines. His estimated net worth is $400 million.
Wilson supporters from Utah boarded a charter aircraft to Charlotte, North Carolina, to see the Jets play on the Panthers in Week 1 of the NFL season.
Sports Reference provided all stats.
Josh Allen, Mac Jones, Tua Tagovailoa, and Zach Wilson of the AFC East will make history with a feat that hasn’t happened in over 50 years.
I want to start this off by saying that I am not a huge sports fan. I know, but I don’t watch it. I can’t stand watching sports on TV and I don’t read any sports websites. However, I am a huge fan of Zach Wilson and the article is about him and his religion and if he is a Mormon.. Read more about zach wilson dad and let us know what you think.
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