Look away, Joe Douglas. Robert Saleh, stop reading now.
The Jets’ decision-makers do not want to know what is about to come next.
They do not want to read about how Garrett Wilson, the team’s second-year star receiver, trained this offseason.
Wilson spent most of his offseason in New Jersey and he was a frequent visitor to a Lifetime Fitness, where he would take on all comers on the basketball court.
“A lot of my training was playing hoops, man,” Wilson told The Post recently. “I like to play hoops a lot and work on different body movements and things I used to do when I was younger.
“I feel like that was kind of my superpower or my little secret sauce is playing basketball during the offseason to get my lateral movement and all those things that translate to football.”
Before Wilson was a star receiver for the Jets, he starred on the basketball court as well as the football field at Lake Travis High School in Texas.
He averaged 21 points per game there and earned Division I scholarship offers before deciding to play football at Ohio State.
Coming off a 2022 season that earned him the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Wilson was back on the court this winter and spring getting in work the Jets did not know about.
“I ain’t going to lie,” Wilson said with a smile, “this is the first time I’ve told them. They’ll find out when you write it.”
Wilson joked he wasn’t playing too hard before slipping about his fellow gym warriors realizing who the 6-footer with the big vertical and tough handle is.
“They recognize me a few times. Sometimes they don’t. I’ll dunk the ball or something … actually I won’t,” Wilson said laughing, realizing how the vision of him dunking might send chills through the offices of One Jets Drive. “I’ll hit a free throw and they’re like, ‘Wow, you’re pretty good.’ They start to ask.
“For the most part, they give me space and let me play and know I’m out there playing like the rest of them are.”
Wilson will be very recognizable to Jets fans who flock to Florham Park this summer to see how he looks with new quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Jets report to training camp Wednesday with their first practice set for Thursday. While Rodgers is undoubtedly the center of the Jets universe in 2023, Wilson is one of the young stars who has the Jets dreaming of sustained success beyond 2023.
The Jets are relying on the continued maturation of Wilson to help Rodgers push them into the playoffs.
Wilson, who turns 23 on Saturday, became the first Jets receiver to go over 1,000 receiving yards since 2015 when he pulled in 83 catches for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns. It was a remarkable season when you consider it was his first year in the NFL and he played with three different starting quarterbacks, all of whom had their share of struggles.
Now, Wilson gets to catch passes from Rodgers, the four-time MVP who is destined to have a bust in the Hall of Fame one day.
“It’s special. He’s really smart. I just want to be a sponge,” Wilson said. “Every time I’m around him I want to make sure I’m learning something and listening and tapped into what he’s saying. He’s a different cat, man. For me, it’s as beneficial as I make it.
“I want to be able to take all this and use it for the next 10 years of my career.”
Wilson was making a promotional appearance at the NFL draft in Kansas City when the Rodgers trade became official and Rodgers reported to Florham Park.
It was a few days later when Wilson got back to New Jersey that he stopped by the team’s training center and met his new quarterback.
“I’m not going to lie. I was a little nervous catching that first pass,” Wilson said. “I was like, ‘Go ahead, Allen [Lazard].’ Let me see how this thing comes out. Then you see it and you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s Aaron Rodgers.’ I was a little nervous. It’s one of those things where it doesn’t really sink in until you catch that ball or until you see him in a jersey and a helmet.
“He makes it easy on you. You’re going to be nervous but then the ball hits you in the chest.”
Wilson is not shy about expecting big things this season for the Jets with Rodgers, but he is not going to boast about it.
“We have an idea of what we’re capable of, but now it’s our job to go out there and make it happen,” Wilson said. “All that talking isn’t going to do anything for us or talking about what we can maybe do isn’t going to do anything for us in September.”
Rodgers has already compared Wilson to his former No. 1 receiver in Green Bay.
“His ability to kind of get in and out of his breaks. There’s another 17 [Davante Adams] I played with for a long time who does it better than anybody. The explosiveness, in and out of breaks, to the 17 here, is pretty similar,” Rodgers said on “The Pat McAfee Show” in May.
Wilson was moved by the comparison.
“It’s really cool. Just knowing that he thinks highly of me and the way I go about my business,” Wilson said. ”For me, it’s motivation. I’ve got to keep going. I’ve got a lot to prove. For me, Davante has been my favorite receiver growing up.
“Now, to even have your name in the same sentence as him is special but it ups the standard.”
As soon as the 2022 season ended, Wilson began studying the film from the end of the season, when he felt he had become a true NFL receiver.
He wanted to see his victories as well as his mistakes.
He spent time recovering from the grind of his rookie year that began with draft prep and ended with him accounting for 48 percent of the Jets’ offense in their season-ending loss in Miami.
He traveled home to Texas and visited Ohio State before taking a vacation to Hawaii for six days.
It was also important for Wilson to spend time in New Jersey with his dog, Melo.
“This is home base for me,” Wilson said. “I wanted to really live in my house. I felt like I hadn’t lived in it yet. I love it up here. I felt like I hadn’t really lived here yet.
“When I got the break I wanted to spend some time up here.”
As for physical goals, Wilson wanted to put on weight. He ended last season at 179 pounds.
His goal is to be 195 when camp starts and to play at 190.
And, of course, his offseason included lots of basketball, a sport that he feels helps him on the football field.
“It just really taps into my get-off-the-ground ability and being reactive and adjusting to the ball, coming to meet the ball, just my reactiveness, how I pop up off the ground when I have to, not planning it but doing it,” Wilson said. “Basketball is a really reactive game versus football you have your steps calculated, you have everything planned out. For me, it’s like I have this seven-step route, but what if he jumps inside there and I can’t win on seven steps, I’m going to have to give him a move.
“Basketball helps with stuff like that, making it right on the fly instead of just being a robot and running my seven-step route no matter what and if I’m covered, I’m covered. I think that’s what basketball helps me with.”
The Jets now need to hope that Wilson’s Hoop Dreams lead to Gridiron Extremes.
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