Some of Southern California’s finest collegiate talent took to the fields at Hoag Performance Center for the Chargers’ local pro day.
That includes UCLA’s star tight end Caleb Wilson, who made one thing clear.
He’d love to become Philip Rivers’ best friend.
You see, Wilson prides himself on being a quarterback’s best friend, which only makes sense as he’s one of the top playmaking tight ends in this year’s draft.
“I’ve always been a quarterback’s best friend as far as in the passing game, from Josh Rosen to when I was with Sam Darnold at USC to Wilton Speight,” he said. “I’ve always been a guy they can lean back on when things are rough, or they need a play to be made. So I feel like I can definitely bring that to the table…I’d be honored to even catch a pass from (Philip Rivers).”
As if playing with a future Hall of Famer wasn’t enough, Wilson loves the idea of reuniting with his former tight ends coach at UCLA, Rip Scherer, who is entering his second season coaching the position for the Bolts.
“I (owe) much of my success to Coach Rip,” he explained. “He instilled a lot into me. He pushed me. I was a quarterback in high school, so he got me as a raw product and really helped turn me into what some say (was) one of the best in college football. So I’m very appreciative of what he’s done for me and my life, and my family. He’s given me an opportunity, so I owe a lot to him for sure.”
Wilson’s stock is certainly on the rise following a dominant performance at the NFL Scouting Combine.
The 6-4, 240-pounder recorded the second-best 40-yard dash time (4.56) for tight ends, and tied for 10th among those at the position in broad jump (9’5”), three-cone drill (7.20) and 60-yard shuttle (12.18).
However, his resume is more than those important metrics.
Wilson not only led the Bruins a year ago in receptions (60) and receiving yards (965), but those marks rank as the most ever by a UCLA tight end. He also finished the year as college football’s leading tight end in receptions per game (5.0), receiving yards per game (80.4) and total receiving yards. All in all, he caught 114 passes for 1,675 yards and five touchdowns in 29 career games over three seasons.
Thus, it’s a no-brainer that Wilson will hear his name called two weeks from now at the NFL Draft.
While he’ll be happy to play wherever he winds up, he notes it would be particularly special to play for a Chargers franchise with such a rich history at tight end, including the likes of Antonio Gates and Kellen Winslow.
“It would love to be part of this team and help them any way I can,” he said. “They’ve had those guys, and it would be awesome to try to fill the shoes of two Hall of Fame tight ends. That would be awesome. Those are guys I definitely look up to and watch a lot of tape on. I would love to be a tight end for the Chargers. To be honest, I’d be ecstatic to be a Charger.”
Oh, and if those weren’t reasons enough, one of his closest teammates over his career at UCLA just happens to be a Charger in Scott Quessenberry, who was the team’s fifth-round pick a year ago.
In fact, Wilson picked his good friend’s brain before arriving at the local pro day.
“I asked him about all this! I asked him what this was like, what should I do (and) what should I wear. Everything. Scotty, he was one of my favorite teammates ever at UCLA. Great guy. He’ll push me. Always had my back through the ups and downs, so I love that guy for sure.”
The Bolts coaching staff host the 2019 prospects at Hoag Performance Center for the Chargers local pro day.