Jaime Wilson, the 2012 MAC Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-American punt returner for Western Michigan, told CBS he will transfer to Bethune-Cookman. The move to the Florida FCS college was made primarily so the Belle Glade, Fla. product can be closer to his 5-year-old daughter, Ja'Myla, he explained.
"It was a tough decision to leave, but really when it came down to it, I had to think about my daughter's future and me being in her life," Wilson said, adding that WMU coach P.J. Fleck and his staff were very supportive as he talked about how hard the circumstances have been for him being so far away. BCC is a three-hour drive from his hometown so he could drive back often to see her.
"Getting him closer (to Ja'Myla) was the best thing for him," said Fleck. "Maybe not the football part, but I'm an old sixth grade social studies teacher, and we've got to help educate young people to be better adults."
Wilson missed the entire 2013 season with a broken ankle after leading WMU with 67 receptions for 792 yards (both school freshman records) and six touchdowns. He also averaged 13.6 yards per punt return.
Even though Wilson had made up his mind a few months ago to transfer closer to home, he agreed to finish out the semester at WMU before making the move. Wilson, who is on scholarship at WMU, worked as a student assistant and helped the football operations staff. He will fly back to Florida Sunday and plans to be enrolled at B-CC in time for the summer semester. Wilson said his injured ankle is already back to about 85 to 90 percent healed.
The 5-11, 196-pounder, who Fleck described as "a quiet young man with a big heart who really cares about other people," made first-team All-State at one of the traditionally most talented prep programs in the country, Glades Central, where he caught 63 passes for 24 touchdowns as a senior. However, Wilson who had interest from the University of Miami, among others, was bypassed by the traditional FBS powers in the state. The 33-year-old Fleck, a former assistant at Rutgers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a former NFL wideout himself, raved about Wilson's skills.
"He has incredible balance and great core strength, and his ball skills remind me of (former Rutgers star and current Cincinnati Bengals receiver) Mohamed Sanu."
In 2013, B-CC lost in the first-round of the FCS playoffs. The Wildcats open the 2014 season against FIU on Aug. 30.