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As Natrona County Mustang, Cincinnati Bengal Logan Wilson was a ‘consummate teammate’

Bengals linebacker and Casper native Logan Wilson strips the ball from The Ravens' Tyler Huntley as he tried to jump over the pile for a touchdown. The play lead to a fumble and touchdown for the Bengals. (NFL via Twitter)

CASPER, Wyo. — Two weeks ago, Cincinnati Bengal Logan Wilson preserved his team’s dramatic AFC Wild Card win over the Baltimore Ravens by forcing a fumble at the goal line that was returned the length of the field for a touchdown — arguably the biggest play of his young NFL career and the most important play of the season for the Bengals.

Before that, though, Wilson was a standout at Natrona County High School, where he and head coach Steve Harshman helped the Mustangs capture two state championships in a three-year stretch.

“I actually helped coach Logan in midget football, too, so I got to see him play before he even got to high school,” Harshman recalled. “What stood out most about him at that age was his work ethic. He started in the weight room in about fifth grade, and he was in there every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning like clockwork. … You could really tell football was something he was passionate about.”

When Wilson got to high school, it didn’t take long for him to establish himself as a dominating presence on the field, in more ways than one.

Playing in all three phases of the game, Wilson lined up as a wide receiver on offense, a kicker and punter on special teams and a cornerback on defense. As a sophomore, he earned First Team All-State honors as a kicker, helping his team to a state title in the process.

“Some people might forget, but he had a heck of a leg on him,” Harshman said. “He was extremely good as a kicker and punter.”

As a junior, Wilson was again exceptional on the field, and the Mustangs made it back to the state championship game — though this time coming up just short. Although the team wasn’t able to repeat as state champions, Wilson cemented his name in the record books by being named to the All-State first team four times over as a kicker, punter, cornerback and receiver.

Then, as a senior, he was able to come out on top by helping to secure another state championship for NCHS.

And that wasn’t the only state title he helped bring to his high school that year, either; Wilson was also a part of state championship basketball and track teams during his senior campaign.

“Football was his main sport, but if you ask him which of those was his favorite, he’d probably say basketball,” Harshman said with a chuckle. “For the football team, there was the expectation that we’d be playing for a title. We’d been dominant all year long; we had four guys who went on to probably be captains on a college team. But in basketball, it was kind of a Cinderella story. That team surprised a lot of people.

“He was so competitive and so athletic that he could succeed in just about any sport he tried. In basketball he was a very physical player and a great rebounder.”

Though Wilson left NCHS as one of the most accomplished and decorated football players in the nation, Harshman said Wilson never thought of personal success.

“Logan was the consummate teammate,” Harshman said. “He was all about the team. He didn’t care about his stats, except for the fact that they helped the team win.”

Harshman said Wilson received two Division I offers, from the University of Wyoming and Weber State. As a UW Cowboy, Wilson continued to grow and flourish. After redshirting his first season, he earned Mountain West Freshman of the Year honors as a redshirt freshman, piling up 94 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, seven passes defended and three interceptions.

He only continued to grow from there. As a senior, Wilson was named First Team All-Conference and Second Team All-American after compiling 105 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, a sack, four interceptions with one being returned for a touchdown, 11 passes broken up and a forced fumble.

His college career caught the eye of scouts across the NFL, and he was drafted in the third round of the 2020 draft by the Bengals, where he’s played ever since.

Since being drafted, he’s developed into a top-notch linebacker for his squad, and currently has 312 career tackles in just three seasons.

And while he’s made a name for himself on the biggest of stages, he’s always managed to stay true to his roots.

“He hasn’t let any of his success change him,” Harshman said. “He’s still a Wyoming boy who enjoys spending time with all his old friends. That’s what makes it even better.”

Earlier in the season, Harshman went to a game between the Bengals and the Cleveland Browns to watch Wilson and his team face off against another former Natrona County Mustang, Taven Bryan, who graduated high school the year before Wilson.

“It was great,” Harshman said. “He picked us up from the airport, hung out with us — it was a lot of fun.”

On Jan. 15, Harshman was also one of the millions of Americans watching as Wilson stripped the ball from Raven Tyler Huntley, all but securing a win in what was seconds earlier a very fraught game.

“That was something else. I was screaming and yelling, as I’m sure a lot of folks in Casper were,” Harshman said. “It’s been a joy to watch him and I’m excited to see him continue to shine.”


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