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Silent leader leaves loud legacy

Usually three trips to the NCAA Tournament and accumulating the second most wins in school wrestling history speaks for itself, but there is much more to this Viking standout than just wins and records.

Jeremy Wilson has developed a reputation as a dependable, hard working and consistent individual, according to head coach Marlin Grahn. And on top of all that, Wilson has become a family man, recently getting married to his high school sweetheart.

But don’t think he is a softy. Under his calm and quiet personality Wilson has the heart and the drive of champion, according to Grahn.

“He’s probably one of the best athletes Portland State has had true, pure athlete,” Grahn said. “He’s just a great athlete.”

Wilson attributes his success to hard work, discipline and believing in himself. He said that if you believe in yourself, “you really can accomplish anything you set your mind to.”

Wilson came to PSU at a time when the wrestling program was close to shutting its doors due to a lack of funding. Because of Wilson’s hard work, he, along with other team members, were able to raise the money needed to keep the program alive.

“He came into our program at a time when we almost lost our program,” Grahn said. “He was a solid mainstay for us during that time.”

Since his freshman year, Wilson’s skills have improved by leaps and bounds despite joining the team well ahead of others.

“He came in so solid,” Grahn said, adding that his level of improvement has “been huge” during his college career.

Not one to place himself on the mantle or declare how tremendous an athlete he is, Wilson feels content with his accomplishments during his time at PSU.

“There are a few things I look back and wish I could have done a little better,” Wilson said. “Really, overall I’m pleased with my experiences here as a student and an athlete.”

Wilson’s experiences as a student aren’t over yet. After graduation, he plans to attend graduate school at Eastern Oregon University in the teaching program.

This is due in part to the respect and admiration Wilson has had for his many mentors throughout his life. He also hopes that by becoming a teacher, he will be able to give back to his students the knowledge and life experience he has gained over the years.

“Just looking back on both my wrestling career and my overall life, I’ve always looked up to my teachers and coaches,” Wilson said. “I really want to influence kids and be a big part of other kids’ lives when they’re growing up and hopefully be a good role model.”

Wilson will miss competing in the sport, but is ready to move on to bigger and better things. After grad school, he hopes to be able to not only teach, but also to coach.

When it comes to coaching, Wilson was been an exemplary model in Grahn’s eyes.

“He’s a coach’s dream,” Grahn said. “He was doing whatever a coach would want and usually more.”

People like Wilson don’t come along every day, Grahn said.

“I was never disappointed with what he put out,” Grahn continued. “I tell people, if I could have 10 Jeremys, we’d have one heck of a team.”