Gargantuan right tackle Isaiah Wilson could’ve been enjoying a lucrative pro career in the NFL.
If there’s one guy who could keep the opposing pass rush at bay and protect the quarterback, it was him.
Unfortunately, he faded from the limelight sooner than most people expected.
In fact, some football pundits and experts consider him one of the biggest busts in Tennessee Titans franchise history.
Think Vince Young, Chance Warmack, Kendall Wright, Jake Locker, and Andre Woolfolk.
Had Isaiah Wilson taken his football career more seriously, he would’ve made a big impact on the pro game.
Too bad that’s not the case anymore.
Isaiah Terrell Wilson was born in Brooklyn, NY on February 12, 1999.
Wilson, who attended Poly Prep Country Day School in the Dyker Heights area of Brooklyn, was a massive specimen.
He stood 6’6″ and weighed 350 lbs.
One of the top visitors on hand to watch #Michigan improve to 10-1 was Brooklyn (NY) Poly Prep 2017 OL Isaiah Wilson https://t.co/bUjRF7FG0G pic.twitter.com/QIYysevMTI
— Brice Marich (@BriceMarich) November 20, 2016
He was so huge, Austin Somers, the school’s 2020 commencement senior speaker, was in awe the first time he saw him:
“Finding myself flustered, I went into the restroom to kill time before her bus arrived, and there I bumped into Isaiah Wilson and his SpongeBob backpack. I was stunned.”
“I went from being the biggest kid in the entire middle school to feeling very small. This place was different than anything I had ever experienced.”
Believe it or not, Wilson uses SpongeBob, the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon character, as his inspiration.
He revealed this in a The Post Game video (via the Tennessean’s Erik Bacharach) shortly before his NFL career kicked off several years later:
“You learn a few lessons. The man goes to his fry-cooking job and loves every minute of it.”
“He’s never late. Didn’t miss a day.”
“To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is to be forgotten.”
Wilson also put his massive frame to good use.
The big man was a well-rounded athlete during his high school days: aside from football, he also played lacrosse and did some wrestling.
It came as no surprise Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson reminded Wilson of the late wrestling behemoth, Andre the Giant, per the Tennesseean.
Wilson gave credit to both sports for improving his gridiron skills.
He told Bacharach wrestling honed his balance and hand-eye coordination.
As for lacrosse, it developed his agility and ability to cover players on the field.
It was also hard to fathom Wilson played quarterback whenever the Poly Prep football team executed the Wildcat formation.
Isaiah Wilson is one of the top offensive linemen in the upcoming NFL Draft. In high school, he sometimes played QB in the Wildcat.
Imagine trying to stop this dude 🤯 @_LayZay_ @GeorgiaFootball
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) February 11, 2020
“He was always pretty driven,” his mom, Sharese, told the New York Post (via The Palm Beach Post). “He had it in his mind this is what he wanted to do.”
Wilson’s star shone brighter as his high school career wound down.
Aside from becoming a five-star prospect out of Poly Prep, he earned Mr. Football honors from the NYC chapter of the National Football Foundation, per Bacharach.
Isaiah Wilson, the man-mountain from Brooklyn, was ready to take his act to the college ranks.
College Career With The Georgia Bulldogs
Isaiah Wilson’s suitors included the Florida State Seminoles, Alabama Crimson Tide, Michigan Wolverines, and Georgia Bulldogs, per The Palm Beach Post’s Joe Schad.
The man nicknamed “Panda” eventually chose Georgia, the old stomping grounds of Herschel Walker, A.J. Green, Richard Seymour, Champ Bailey, and Jarvis Jones.
Wilson told DawgNation.com’s Chip Towers in January 2017 he selected Georgia because of the opportunity to take the field during his freshman year and the school’s academic opportunities.
Another factor was Wilson hitting it off with Bulldogs offensive line coach Sam Pittman during the team’s O-line camp in the summer of 2016, per Towers.
It also turned out the Wilsons had family members residing in the state of Georgia.
In case you couldn't tell from the live stream, NY 5⭐️OT Isaiah Wilson is committed to #UGA. Early Christmas continues for the Bulldogs pic.twitter.com/PJU2bW75bI
— 11Alive Sports (@11AliveSports) December 16, 2016
Another factor was Wilson’s camaraderie with the Bulldogs players.
He revealed this during an interview with DawgNation.com’s Jeff Sentell in December 2016:
“I saw the class that they built. I was around the guys during my official visit.”
“Everything just clicked. It seemed like we knew each other for forever.”
“We are definitely going to do something special over the next three to four years.”
On the other hand, Wilson’s mother Sharese lauded him for his academic potential.
For his part, Poly Prep Blue Devils head football coach Kevin Fountaine told DawgNation.com his protege is one smart football player:
“The thing about him is he’s very, very smart. He loves offensive line play, he loves going to the board and he picks it right up.”
“As far as intelligence goes, he’ll go there (Georgia) this summer and really have the opportunity to play as a true freshman because he’ll be able to pick it up.”
“He’s not going to have missed assignments and things like that. He’ll pick up the mental part of the game quickly where it might take another freshman longer. Physically, I’m not worried about that.”
The big man eventually redshirted during his freshman year with the Bulldogs in 2017.
That year, he pumped iron in the weight room so he could keep up with the rigors of the college game, per DawgNation.com’s Connor Riley.
Wilson’s efforts paid big dividends.
He eventually became the Bulldogs’ starting right tackle as a redshirt freshman in 2018.
Three Bulldogs named to the @TheFWAA's 2018 Freshman All-America Team, including offensive linemen Isaiah Wilson and Cade Mays @UGASportscom: pic.twitter.com/LVyI4CrKod
— Patrick Garbin (@patrickgarbin) January 7, 2019
Not only that, but he also started all 14 games and became a First Team Freshman All-American.
He also earned First Team All-SEC honors.
Wilson’s imposing presence at right tackle helped Georgia win 11 of its 14 games in 2018.
Unfortunately, the fifth-ranked Bulldogs lost to the 15th-ranked Texas Longhorns in the 2019 Allstate Sugar Bowl, 28-21.
Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger finished with 233 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns in the upset win.
Wilson and Co. were out for redemption the next season.
Wilson excelled at thwarting the opponent’s pass rush as a redshirt sophomore.
According to Pro Football Focus (via The Palm Beach Post), he allowed just nine pressures on 334 pass-blocking snaps.
Despite sitting out two games due to an ankle injury, Wilson still made it to the Second Team All-SEC roster.
The Bulldogs went 12-2 in 2019 and received an invite to the Allstate Sugar Bowl for the second consecutive season.
At the conclusion of the 2019 NCAA season, Wilson’s gut told him it was time to turn pro.
“I did well against other first-round talent and high draft picks, people that I know have years on me,” he told Pro Football Focus (via The Palm Beach Post). “That’s when I decided that I’m good enough.”
Isaiah Wilson makes it two Bulldogs taken in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft – Bulldawg Illustrated https://t.co/eeTwwE78gj pic.twitter.com/UIgsjKFD7X
— Bulldawg Illustrated (@BD_illustrated) April 24, 2020
Wilson told DawgNation.com’s Mark Griffith during the 2020 NFL Combine in Indianapolis he decided to skip the 2020 Allstate Sugar Bowl so he could spend time with his family in New York before he turned pro.
“I took off from the bowl season to spend time with my family.”
“I’m from New York. My family stayed in New York when I went to Georgia, and I spent probably a total of eight days with them in a three-year period.”
“I just wanted to get home and spend a little time with my mom, and my dad, and my brother, before I embarked on this journey.”
Behind quarterback Jake Fromm’s 250 passing yards and two touchdown passes, the fifth-ranked Bulldogs beat the eighth-ranked Baylor Bears in the 2020 Allstate Sugar Bowl, 26-14.
For his part, The Panda was ready to make his mark in the pro ranks.
NFL Career and Legal Issues
Had Isaiah Wilson enjoyed a lengthy and solid career in the NFL, he could’ve been mentioned in the same breath as Jim Parker, Jonathan Ogden, Anthony Munoz, Ron Yary, Forrest Gregg, or Walter Jones – some of the greatest offensive linemen in professional football history.
Instead, Wilson reached rock bottom sooner – much sooner – than expected.
The Tennessee Titans made Wilson the 29th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Congratulations to Poly Prep Alumnus OT Isaiah Wilson who was selected this evening by the Tennessee Titans with the 29th pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft!!! pic.twitter.com/IT5h9jLrty
— Poly Blue Devils (@PolyBlueDevils) April 24, 2020
“I don’t cry often,” Wilson told the Tennessean’s Erik Bacharach shortly afterward.”
“But I cried like a baby when I got the phone call. It was a very special moment for me.”
Titans general manager Jon Robinson explained to Bacharach why the team selected Wilson:
“He’s got excellent power to move the line of scrimmage in the run game, and he’s tough to get around in the pass game.”
“I thought I saw some blocks at the highest level in the SEC where he gets up to level two, and he forces linebackers – if he gets his them, they’re usually done for.”
From the outset, Tennessee wanted Wilson to compete with Dennis Kelly for the right tackle position.
The Titans also envisioned Wilson and three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan holding off edge rushers and protecting quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
With Wilson on board, Tennessee, which finished with a 9-7 win-loss record for the fourth consecutive year, wanted a stranglehold on the AFC South division and a third trip to the postseason in the past four years.
The Titans placed Wilson on their reserve/COVID-19 list when training camp kicked off in late July 2020.
Less than a week later, Wilson and the Titans agreed to terms on a four-year rookie deal.
The contract was worth $11.57 million with $5.974 million in guaranteed money, per SI.com’s David Boclair.
After five weeks. Wilson returned to the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list.
Unfortunately, Wilson got in trouble with the law just a week into the 2020 NFL season.
According to USA TODAY’s Mike Moraitis, authorities in Nashville, TN arrested Wilson on suspicion of DUI at 11:29 p.m. on September 11, 2020.
Titans first-round pick Isaiah Wilson arrested for DUI; he's subsequently been bonded outhttps://t.co/isPwnVvGbU pic.twitter.com/30uKgOom0t
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) September 12, 2020
Breath tests revealed Wilson had blood alcohol levels of 0.107 and 0.113, which are above Tennessee’s legal limit of 0.08.
Wilson’s arrest warrant indicated he went beyond the speed limit before doing “donuts” in an intersection.
Moraitis also revealed in his report Wilson “received a trespass warning from Tennessee State University police back in August after a party he was attending was broken up.”
He eventually lost control of his vehicle.
A month after Wilson’s arrest, the Titans activated him from their reserve/COVID-19 list for a second time.
Wilson finally made his long-awaited NFL debut in Week 12.
He played four snaps in all – three on offense and one on special teams – in the Titans’ 45-26 rout of their AFC South division rivals, the Indianapolis Colts, on November 29, 2020.
Just one week after making his pro debut, Wilson was at it again.
This time, the Titans suspended him for their December 8, 2020 showdown against the Cleveland Browns for violating team rules.
Tennessee didn’t specify Wilson’s actions which led to the suspension, per The Associated Press (via ESPN).
The #Titans have suspended first-round pick Isaiah Wilson for Sunday's game against the #Browns. #NFL #CLEvsTEN https://t.co/eunQAlZhFe pic.twitter.com/I8lL80CYwz
— David Boclair (@BoclairSports) December 6, 2020
On December 9, 2020, Boclair says the Titans placed Wilson on their reserve/non-football illness list.
A press release SI.com obtained from the Titans revealed Wilson was “dealing with some personal issues.”
Just one week into 2021, the Tennessee right tackle was arrested for a second time.
According to the Tennessean (via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution), the 22-year-old Wilson drove 140 mph while possessing drugs in Georgia on January 7, 2021.
The said report released further details of the incident:
“Wilson and a woman were charged with felony fleeing from police, possession of a schedule 1 controlled substance, marijuana possession, reckless driving, reckless conduct, and speeding in a construction zone, according to a Barrow County (Ga.,) Sheriff’s Office incident report obtained by the Tennessean.”
At the end of the high-speed chase, Wilson wrecked his car in the said construction zone.
Wilson confessed he fled after the reporting officer’s radar gun clocked him at 123 mph because he had past indiscretions with the law.
NFL Draft bust Isaiah Wilson arrested at gunpoint after 140 MPH chase: police https://t.co/AHok7zK2uF pic.twitter.com/10B3foCa36
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) March 24, 2021
He was also afraid of getting incarcerated, per the Tennessean (via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
Police released him from jail a day after the incident.
Two weeks after Super Bowl LV, Titans general manager Jon Robinson told Boclair, “For whatever reason, the player this fall that was here in Nashville wasn’t the guy that we spent time with last year.”
At this point, there was already a strong backlash among Titans fans on Wilson’s selection.
He was a major bust in the making.
For his part, Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan defended his GM’s selection.
He also told the Barstool Sports podcast “Bussin’ With The Boys” (via SI.com’s Michael Hogan) on April 7, 2021 Wilson needed help badly.
“I think a lot of people are upset with Jon Robinson for picking him in the first round.”
“However, I think with the Zoom stuff and how the draft went, it’s really hard to get a good feel on guys.”
“There’s a big difference between shaking somebody’s hand and the Zoom thing popping up and having a real conversation.”
“It’s easy to fake that stuff. I don’t think Jon’s to blame at all.”
“I think the kid (Wilson) needs help.”
On February 22, 2021, Wilson tweeted he was “done with football as a Titan,” per SI,com.
Wilson deleted the tweet a few hours later.
2020 First Round Pick, Isaiah Wilson Tweets That He Is "Done With Football As A Titan" After Playing Only 4 Snaps All Year, Getting A DUI, Being Suspended, And 2 Trips To The Covid List https://t.co/WAo4psmGpd pic.twitter.com/dA4WdALFrl
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 23, 2021
Unfortunately, he already sent a clear message.
His tweet turned out to be more prophetic than anyone expected.
Less than three weeks after the disgruntled Wilson voiced his displeasure on social media, the Tennessee Titans traded him to the Miami Dolphins.
The Titans dealt Wilson and a 2022 seventh-round draft selection to the Dolphins in exchange for 2021 seventh-round draft pick, per ESPN’s Turron Davenport.
The deal became official on March 8, 2021.
According to Davenport, the Dolphins already had their eye on Wilson for the 2020 NFL Draft.
He could’ve been their second-round selection.
Unfortunately, Tennessee plucked him from the draft pool late in the first round.
Instead of getting a fresh start with the Dolphins, Wilson was released less than two weeks after the trade.
Miami Dolphins release former first-round pick Isaiah Wilsonhttps://t.co/2e8kKFof3t pic.twitter.com/d6VPsHnEGl
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) March 20, 2021
ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe reported Wilson made a bad impression on Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and Co.:
“Wilson was hours late for his physical and team onboarding process, skipped multiple optional workouts that he agreed to attend on Thursday and Friday and declined support service that he was offered, all in his first official week with the team,” sources said.
“Wilson also posted social media videos of him dancing shirtless on top of a car and smoking a vape, the same day he agreed to do a workout.”
“By then, the Dolphins had already decided to move on as Wilson was not receptive of their plans to help him.”
Wolfe also revealed Flores and Wilson go a long way back.
Both of them attended Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, NY.
Several days after Wilson’s release from the Dolphins, Georgia police charged him with multiple felonies stemming from his high-speed car chase in January.
Isaiah Wilson’s infamous fallout from the gridiron is now complete.
All hope isn’t lost for big Isaiah Wilson.
Just as his pro football career drew to a premature close, he has embarked on a different journey.
He has set his sights on becoming a professional rapper and recording artist.
Wilson, nicknamed “GGBOWZER,” released a 16-track album entitled “Layup Lines” on April 25, 2021, per the New York Post’s Mollie Walker.
Isaiah Wilson Highlight tape ft. GGBOWZER 🤧 pic.twitter.com/oxlCzJhD0f
— 𝕸𝖆𝖗𝖈𝖔 (@marcfanelli) April 26, 2021
His work hasn’t exactly received rave reviews, so he’s a work in progress.
To his credit, not too many NFL football players have made the smooth transition into the music industry.
If Isaiah Wilson is going to be the first one, he’s got his work cut out for him.
Danny Goodchild says
I wonder if it would be worth a try for Anthony Thomas to pick up the phone and call Isaiah Wilson, They played together at Geogia and Wilson’s family are all in NY. He just might need one more try ?
James stricklin says
We need what you sId to hapoen we have nort an lewan hurt his knee the o line is falling apart
We good ✌🏼
Aleyna downing says
We good ✌🏼
This kid clearly needs help. Just because he’s huge and looks like an adult doesn’t mean he actually is (clearly). How about getting this man-child some help instead of writing him off.
This. He needs a good therapist and some good folks around him. He’s breaking down in front of all of us.
You can’t help ANYONE that doesn’t want to be helped.