UIL Football Playoffs
Class 6A Division II state quarterfinals
Austin Westlake (12-1) vs. Brandeis (11-2)
When, where: Saturday, 6 p.m., Alamodome
Next week: Winner plays Beaumont West Brook-Cypress Creek winner in state semifinals.
SAN ANTONIO – Frank Wilson IV remembers being “intrigued” whenever he heard Kyan Brumfield, a friend of his, sing the praises of the Brandeis High School football program in conversations they had when Wilson was a student at Central Catholic.
Brumfield played for the Broncos and is now a freshman defensive back at Colgate University in New York. His father, Ricky, was an assistant football coach under Frank Wilson, Frank’s father, at UTSA for two seasons before going to the University of Virginia last December.
Frank Wilson IV played on the Central Catholic varsity as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Brandeis in February. The Wilson family already lived in the Brandeis attendance zone.
A free safety, kick returner and wide receiver, Wilson made an immediate impact on the Broncos’ program with his high football IQ and skills. He has had an outstanding junior season, helping lead Brandeis to the Class 6A Division II state quarterfinals. The Broncos (11-2) play Austin Westlake (12-1) for the regional title at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Alamodome.
Wilson chuckles now when he recalls the days when Kyan Brumfield talked up Brandeis.
“I heard about the brotherhood. I heard about the culture,” Wilson said. “I wanted to play for a team that was a team of destiny. Kyan kept nagging me to come to Brandeis, to come to Brandeis. I asked him why, why go to Brandeis? And he told me about the culture, the coaches and how close he was with his teammates.
“I was intrigued by it. That’s what really motivated me to transfer. I told my dad, ‘I think I should go to Brandeis.’ He asked why and I told him what I heard and that was it.”
Brandeis coach David Branscom described Wilson, who is 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, as a “high-impact, high-energy, play-making guy.”
Wilson, who plays wide receiver only occasionally, has anchored the secondary throughout the season.
“We immediately changed scope defensively as far as structure of how we funnel things in an effort to get somebody like him and his athletic ability, not only in coverage but in tackling, around the ball.
“If you look at us structurally, we’ve got Alex Trevino in the middle at the nose, Brent Malone at will (weakside) linebacker and then you’ve got Frank Wilson stacked right behind them. That’s the point of it. That’s the strongest part of our defense.”
Wilson, Branscom said, is fun to coach.
“When he’s having fun and flying around, it’s hard to beat his energy,” Branscom said. “It makes people around him better.”
It didn’t take Wilson long to adapt to his new surroundings and teammates at Brandeis, which is in the Northside ISD. So, is Brandeis everything Wilson thought it would be?
“It’s definitely more,” he said. “My teammates, I couldn’t be happier with them. I love it.”
Senior linebacker Mark Lara said Wilson has been a model teammate from the first time he set foot on the Brandeis campus.
“He’s a pretty good athlete overall,” Lara said. “He pretty much brings everything to the table. He’s a part of our offense and defense. He contributes a lot to the team. He’s a good tackler, covers receivers well, does a good job. He’s a great teammate.”
A victory over Westlake would move Brandeis into the state semifinals for the first time since the school opened in 2008. The Broncos have reached the state quarterfinals three other times.
Westlake beat Steele in the state quarterfinals last year, but the Chaparrals were dealt a tough blow last week when starting quarterback Taylor Anderson sustained an ankle injury that ended his season. Anderson was one of the state’s most prolific quarterbacks, piling up nearly 3,000 yards of total offense and accounting for 39 touchdowns.
“They’ve still got a very good team,” Wilson said. “They’ve got some playmakers. They’re tough, but I have a lot of confidence in our coaches and the game plans they give us each week. Our team has been working hard since day one, so we’re ready for them.”
After watching his father’s UTSA teams play at the Alamodome for the past three seasons, Wilson finally got to play there two weeks ago when Brandeis beat Steele in the second round of the playoffs.
“It was fun,” Wilson said. “It was more than I expected, but in the best way possible. I loved it. It was fun.”
Wilson is the youngest of four children born to Tiffany and Frank Wilson. He was born in New Orleans, where his father was head coach at O. Perry Walker High School.
The elder Wilson will be among the crowd at the Brandeis-Westlake game.
“Everything that I am, I got from him,” Wilson IV said. “I’m very proud of him.”
Naturally, the son goes to the father when he needs a little extra coaching.
“I either call him or I talk with him when I get home," Wilson said. "Sometimes he'll pick me up at school and we'll talk on the way home. He’s always there for me."