ELKHART, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas city is making plans to celebrate a former student who not only earned his way on to an NFL roster, but he’ll be playing in one of sports biggest nights: the Super Bowl.
The city of Elkhart has declared Feb. 2 as ‘Jeff Wilson Day’, in honor of Jeff Wilson Jr., a 2014 graduate of Elkhart High School.
“Jeffery was a great player for us,” said principal Jason Ives, who coached Wilson in high school. “On Friday nights, a lot of what we did revolved around Jeffery, and we knew the game plan going into the game had to involve him because he’s a playmaker."
Wilson now serves as running back for the San Francisco 49ers, where he compiled 105 yards and four touchdowns in 27 carries on the seaspm.
One play likely stands for the high school standout: a game versus the Arizona Cardinals in which he played only one snap, but managed a 25-yard catch-and-run in the 4th quarter that turned into the game-winning play.
“People look him like he’s a running back, and he is. But he can also catch the football as well and make big plays in the passing game," Ives said.
On Friday, students at Elkhart High School dressed in jerseys and homemade t-shirts featuring the 49ers red and gold.
It was a gesture, Ives said, was important to let Wilson know his hometown was behind him.
“We want Jeffery to know that Elkhart ISD, Elkhart High School, this community, that we are supporting him and wishing him the best of luck as they take on that other team,” Ivey laughed, referencing the number of Patrick Mahomes fans in East Texas.
During his time at Elkhart, Wilson was named an AP Class 2A first-team all-state selection as a senior after rushing for 2,749 yards and 36 touchdowns. In two seasons, Wilson rushed for more than 5,000 yards, finishing with 5,078 yards and 59 touchdowns.
Super Bowl LIV (54) will be played Sunday in Miami Gardens, Florida, at Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m.