ATHENS, Ga. — Ramik Wilson had much more to deal with during his freshman year than making the transition from high school to college, balancing classwork with practices and learning both outside and inside linebacker for Georgia.
Wilson was forced to cope with the death of his father, Robert Wilson, in March.
“It was pretty tough, but I have great teammates and a great coaching staff to support me,” Wilson said. “They helped me through my tough times and prayed for me and talked me through things. They got me through it and I’m feeling a lot better and just ready to come out here and compete and help the team get better.”
Wilson missed the fist two spring practices to return home to Florida to be with his family.
Now, he’s the leading candidate to start opposite Jarvis Jones at outside linebacker when Georgia opens its season Sept. 1 at home against Buffalo.
“Oh, yeah, he’s good,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “He’s explosive off the edge, he’s instinctive, he’s got power and, as an inside guy, he’s got very good cover ability.”
Wilson had four tackles in eight games last season.
Georgia receiver Chris Conley, who played with Wilson in events for elite high school prospects, urged Wilson to give Georgia a hard look. Conley hosted him on his visit to Athens and was there for him this spring.
“It was a very rough time for him,” Conley said. “He was very quiet. He’s a quiet guy already. The team did a really great job of coming around him and supporting him and getting Ramik back to where Ramik was. He’s recovered and we pray for the best for him. He’s playing well.”
Wilson said he thinks about his father all the time.
“I know he wants to see me do great,” he said. “I go out there fighting and grinding each day just for him.”