FSU seeing improved play, leadership from veteran wide receiver Ontaria Wilson
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{{ timeAgo('2021-03-30 18:36:05 -0500') }} football Edit

Insider Report: Veteran WR Wilson emerging as playmaker, mentor for FSU

Up until the final two games of the 2020 season, Ontaria "Pokey" Wilson had never been looked upon to be Florida State's top wide receiver.

He redshirted in 2017, then caught four passes in 2018. And even when he earned a starting role for parts of the 2019 season and early last fall, Wilson never had to be the primary threat in the Seminoles' passing game.

He recorded 21 receptions as a redshirt sophomore and then had 21 through the first seven games last season.

That all changed when Tamorrion Terry left the team in November.

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Junior receiver Ontaria Wilson stretches out to haul in a pass earlier this spring.
Junior receiver Ontaria Wilson stretches out to haul in a pass earlier this spring. (Kyle Pulek)

Suddenly, Wilson was Florida State's most experienced, dependable and explosive receiver.

And the Georgia native responded to that opportunity in a big way, catching a career-high seven passes for 117 yards on the road that next week at N.C. State. Included in that performance was a career-best 69-yard touchdown grab.

Then in the Seminoles' next game -- the regular-season finale against Duke -- Wilson caught two passes for 50 yards on FSU's second drive of the game. It appeared he might be well on his way to a second consecutive 100-yard performance, but instead he was sidelined with an undisclosed injury.

"That was an injury that kind of nagged him throughout the early part of the winter conditioning program," FSU head coach Mike Norvell said on Monday. "But his response to that was incredible. The work that he's done in the weight room, the work that he's done in his mental preparation, it's been phenomenal."

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