UConn Pro Day: CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson

UConn Pro Day: CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson
March 28, 2013, 4:15 pm
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ABOUT THE PLAYER: Five-year cornerback at the University of Connecticut.

"From the minute [former UConn, current Maryland coach Randy Edsall] saw my film he was very aggressive with me. My dad and I made a decision we were going to commit on the spot. I felt like it was a perfect choice for me."

Wreh-Wilson, 6-1, 195-pounds, redshirted in 2008 before diving into his collegiate career. Four years later, he was voted the team's Most Valuable Player. That season, his last as a Husky, (46 tackles, one interception, nine passes defensed) also earned him a second-team All-Big East selection.

He played for two different coaches in two different systems during his tenure. The first was Edsall's.

"We were a bend-but-don't-break defense; we played some more conservative coverages. On the back-end it was about eliminating big plays, keeping everything in front of you. It was more zone, read the quarterback, and break on the ball. He let us play. He let us go out there and feel the game out."

Edsall bolted for Maryland after the 2010 season. Former Dolphins coach Paul Pasqualoni stepped in at Connecticut. That's when things changed. Drastically.

"Our defense was very aggressive. We blitzed a lot, played a lot more man-to-man press coverages, more NFL-style. We threw a lot of frying pans at the quarterbacks' heads," he smiled.

ABOUT THE MAN: Expectations for the Husky defense were high enough already, what with the offense's 318.33 yards-per-game ranked 110 of 120 in the NCAA. But two years of UConn captaincy put Wreh-Wilson on a wire.

"I had to come in every day and you had to be the guy who'd set the tone. [Former defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Don] Brown told me what he needed out of me -- he told me I can't have a bad day. There's no such thing as a bad day for me," he explained.

"The pressure was on me to make sure I'm going to class, I'm in the meeting rooms, I'm watching film, I'm not being a distraction. And I just tried to take that and make sure that every time I was in the complex, I was setting a standard."

ABOUT HIS JOURNEY: None of the coveted pre-draft checkpoints were assumed. Halfway through Wreh-Wilson's senior season he heard rumblings about possible invites to the Senior Bowl and the NFL scouting combine.

But he kept his head buried in UConn's 2012 schedule and focused on finishing strong. It was a difficult year -- the Huskies finished 5-7 and 2-5 in the Big East.

Only when it was over could the cornerback think about his future.

"Going into the Senior Bowl I just wanted to show what I do, show my skill set and just let the teams see who I am," he said. "Going into the combine I had goals; I wanted to run faster in my 40 than I did."

Unsatisfied with his 4.53-second time, he re-ran the dash at Pro Day.

"I want to just show my athleticism because I feel like a lot of teams, a lot of people, don't really respect my athleticism," he said. "They don't really respect my game. So I just wanted to show that I belong.

"I just feel UConn doesn't have as much respect as we should. They didn't know that we have players here and this is a great football school."

Wreh-Wilson clocked in at 4.39 and 4.41 this week.

WHAT SCOUTS SAY: "Wreh-Wilson is an extremely athletic player that has excellent coverage skills and excellent ball skills. He has the quickness and speed to stay with a receivers deep down the field but he does need to do a better job of flipping his hips as he can get turned around by some of the better route runners and quicker receivers at the next level. Overall, Wreh-Wilson has a very good chance at becoming a starting CB in the NFL, however until he can improve on his weaknesses and his effort level, it will be difficult to use him as an every down corner." -- National Football Post

WHAT HE SAYS: "I've been trying to stay as level-headed as I can about [the process] and not really reach out to anyone. [I want] to try and take it and see if I can make it through.

"I just try to be relaxed. I'm not a big routine guy, which is kind of funny because I play football. I like to do random things and kind of keep it spontaneous because I feel like if you do the same thing over and over you become a robot and lose track of your emotions. I just try to enjoy myself as much as I can."