UCLA Football’s Top 3 Impact Players for 2018: Caleb Wilson

15320628532682. Caleb Wilson (Tight End, RS Junior)

Last year, Caleb Wilson burst onto the scene in the first game of the season against Texas A&M with 208 yards on 15 catches en route to UCLA’s historic comeback. The former Junipero Serra product and USC walk-on is a matchup nightmare at 6’4” 235 pounds with receiver speed and fantastic hands. Before his season was cut short by a foot injury, he caught 38 passes for 490 yards in 5 games, which is insane production for a TE. Last season, the leading TE in receiving yards was Mark Andrews from Oklahoma who is now with the Baltimore Ravens. Andrews, who won the Mackey award for the best TE, had 936 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns in 15 games (roughly 67 YPG). If Wilson sustained his astonishing pace from the first 5 games of the season (98 YPG), he would have ended the year with 114 receptions, 1,470 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns. Though it is unlikely Wilson will be able to produce like he did last season because he will be without arguably the best pocket passer in the country in Josh Rosen, there is still reason to believe Wilson will have a dominant season. UCLA graduated Darren Andrews and lost Jordan Lasley to the draft. The two receivers combined for 2,037 yards last year which makes up about 45% of UCLA’s total passing yards a season ago. This means significantly more targets to a relatively unproven receiving corps besides Wilson and WR Theo Howard which opens the door for a breakout year.