BC offensive lineman commits to NCAA’s Northern Colorado Bears (VIDEO)

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CFC’s # 7 to officially sign with team on Wednesday’s NCAA Signing Day

A busy year has culminated in CFC TOP 100’s Zach Wilkinson making a decision to play in the NCAA in 2014.

The 6’5, 260 pound offensive tackle from Victoria, British Columbia will sign with NCAA FCS Division team, University of Northern Colorado Bears.

Wilkinson said that the offer came on Christmas Eve, something he asked Santa for as his gift.

“My first offer came on Christmas Eve from Northern Colorado’s Offensive Line Coach Chris Smith,” explained the CFC’s #7 player.  “It was truly the best Christmas gift of all and ironically I tweeted about wishing for Santa to give me a Division 1 Scholarship in my stocking for Christmas just two weeks earlier.”

Initially, Wilkinson was caught off guard by the offer and was impressed with UNC after he visited the campus a couple of weeks ago.

“I was surprised to have received this offer from UNC because I had never sent them my film,” commented Wilkinson.  “Coach Smith and I set up a visit for the weekend of Jan 17-19.”

“Being offered a NCAA scholarship was the greatest feeling ever. I was flown into Denver, Colorado on January 17th and we drove 30 minutes north to Greeley. This is where my recruiting weekend began at UNC.  While I was there I was seriously impressed by the facilities and opportunity at UNC. It really gave me something to think about.”

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A day after his return back to Victoria from Northern Colorado (January 25th), another school began courting Wilkinson.

“I also received a call from the University of North Dakota’s Offensive Line Coach who mentioned he was very interested in my aggressiveness and athleticism,” recounted Wilkinson.  “The next day multiple coaches from North Dakota called and talked to my Mom and I.”

“The coaches offered me a Scholarship and offered to bring me on a visit the next weekend. North Dakota has a great Law program and they also have an indoor stadium.”

While he was flattered by the attention and spent a lot of time considering the option, the CFC TOP 100 offensive tackle opted for UNC’s offer.

“However, I respectfully declined the offer and visit after talking it over with my Mom,” added Wilkinson.  “My heart was with the Northern Colorado Bears.”

There was one dilemma Wilkinson had about going south of the border to pursue his gridiron career.

“One big concern to me about going to an American university was how I was going to be treated,” explained the Victoria standout.  “It was very important to me that I would be treated by the players and coaches with respect.”

“UNC exceeded all expectations.”

Several NCAA schools were in contact to express their interest in Wilkinson including Reno, Washington, Kansas, Washington State, Syracuse, Wyoming, Portland State and Boise.

This past June, the offensive lineman was invited to two NCAA camps – University of Oregon’s Nike Football Training Camp and University of Nevada Reno.

“This whole recruiting process has been a once in a lifetime experience for me,” reflected Wilkinson of the entire process.

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Wilkinson began his gridiron career at the age of seven with Coquitlam Minor Football in the atom level. In grade seven, he moved on to play for the bantam North Surrey Eagles.   After two years, the CFC TOP 100 standout then suited up for the junior varsity Centennial Centaurs of the British Columbia High School Football Association (BCHSFA).

In grade 11 due to his mother’s work commitments, moved to Victoria and joined the BCHSFA’s Mount Douglas Rams for the final two years of high school football.

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Among the honours he has received in his career include: 2013 AAA BC High School Defensive Player of the Year, 2013 BC Provincial All Star, 2013 Western Conference Defensive MVP, 2013 Western Conference Provincial All-Star, BC ‘AAA’ High School Provincial Champion with the Rams three consecutive times, 2012 BC 1st Team Provincial All-Star at an offensive line position, 2012 Western Conference All-Star at an offensive line position.

While there is a sense of relief that he has come to his final decision, Wilkinson’s focus now turns to his future with the Bears.

“I knew that Northern Colorado wanted me and there was a great opportunity to train, play and get my education over the next few years,” said Wilkinson.  “I am glad to say this recruiting process has come to an end in such a great way.”

“I have dreamed of playing Division 1 football since I was a kid.  10 years of football later and I can say I am one of the few who will get to compete at the highest post -secondary level.  I have found a place I can seriously call home.”


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