If a star can be born on one glorious Sunday in Cleveland, there are sure to be a growing number of No. 17 jerseys in the MetLife Stadium stands when Garrett Wilson returns home this Sunday a conquering hero.
“That’s what’s up. … Anytime I see a 17 jersey I make sure I show love to them,” Wilson told The Post with a smile, “but that’d be cool to see.”
Jets fans were loving on Sauce Gardner in the opener, and it will be Garrett Wilson’s star turn against the Bengals.
“I think he’s like the Allen Iverson of football,” Quinnen Williams told The Post. “If you watch his film, man, he’s got all the attributes — the elusiveness, the moves, the jukes, the athleticism and catching and different stuff like that.”
Sauce is “The Natural,” and Wilson’s 8-for-102, two-touchdown Week 2 breakout gives the Jets and the fan base hope that he can be somewhere close to their version of Ja’Marr Chase, if only Zach Wilson can prove the organization right when he is healthy enough to take the ball from Joe Flacco. Chase has the benefit of Joe Burrow throwing his way.
“I feel like he’s really good with his body,” Wilson said. “He’s probably 210, 215 [pounds], I’m more of a 185, 190 guy. Gotta learn how to manipulate DBs, and I kind of call it acting. I gotta do a lot of acting. I gotta make it look like I’m going one way, but really I’m going the other way. That’s probably the main difference. I feel like Ja’Marr’s got a really good throw-by, he’s really good at the top of his route, which is staying physical, but with me, it’s more about making them think I’m doing something that I’m not, you know?”
No one — from Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas, to Ohio State to the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center — has ever wondered whether the game is too big for Wilson.
“The real players gotta come out and show out in the fourth quarter,” Wilson said, “and the best way I like to think about it is just prepare yourself to where you resort to your training in the fourth quarter. You don’t gotta do anything special. It’s just the ones that keep doing the small things right, and keep doing the things that they’ve been doing throughout the game right but do it right in the fourth quarter when it matters most.
“It’s not really doing anything special, it’s just … it’s like I always talk about Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant ain’t do nothing special in the fourth quarter, but the rest of the people got worse and he stayed the same. That’s the way I look at it, you gotta resort to your training when you’re tired, and you gotta put yourself through the ringer to be able to go through it.”
Wilson is the most gifted receiver around here since former Giant Odell Beckham Jr., and that includes current Giant Kadarius Toney, who cannot stay on the field. Garrett’s rapid development will make life easier for Flacco and Zach Wilson.
“Obviously his athleticism and all those kind of things are what stand out,” Flacco said, “but I think what we see around here is just his attitude and the confidence that he has. I think that’s what takes guys over the edge. You’ve seen that he has that from the very beginning.
“He wants the ball, wants to be ‘the guy.’ ”
All the great ones do, of course.
“He’s explosive, real savvy, he’s real creative with his routes,” Corey Davis said. “He’s a good wideout, man. He came in real ready. As a rookie, you don’t really see that, especially at that position. He’s locked in all the time, always trying to get better out there. I got a lot of respect for him. I’m excited we got him, excited to see what he’s gonna do for us.”
Davis came out of Western Michigan pro-ready when the Titans made him the fifth pick of the 2017 draft. He had 34 catches for 375 yards and no TDs as a rookie.
“I had to be ‘the guy’ right then and there,” he said. “So yeah, it was a little different, but Garrett is an explosive dude. It’s hard to put his game into one word.
“But man, at any moment he can take over a game. Any moment.”
Jets fans wanted to see more of Garrett Wilson in the home opener. This, then, will be his moment.
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