Why go to Disneyland when you’ve got a family member playing in the biggest football game of the year just down the road?
One Wyoming family’s vacation this year is happening this weekend in Los Angeles, California, at Superbowl LVI – watching one of their own play in the biggest game of all.
Logan Wilson from Casper is a second-year linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals. Although the Bengals had a dismal season last year, the team – which has only been in the Super Bowl twice, and has never won – had a stellar 2021, taking the AFC Championship two weeks ago in a thrilling game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
For Wilson’s family, this road to the Super Bowl has been a grand adventure.
The 6-foot, 2-inch, 241-pound 25-year-old has spent almost his entire life in Wyoming and was a star player for the University of Wyoming before being drafted in 2020 by the Bengals.
“He was recruited by the University of Wyoming right out of high school, and had a great career at the University of Wyoming,” his dad, Trevor Wilson, told Cowboy State Daily. “He started every game he ever played, as a freshman all the way through to senior, and never missed a game, which is pretty cool.”
When he was a toddler, Logan’s parents moved from Aberdeen, South Dakota, to Cody so Trevor could take over as activities coordinator and assistant principal at Cody High School.
Trevor said as a kid attending Livingston Elementary School in Cody, his son loved anything that was sports related.
“Soccer, baseball, it was all sports,” he said. “And Logan loved them all. And of course, that’s all we did. It doesn’t seem that long ago, but it was.”
When Logan was in third grade, the family moved to Casper, where Logan eventually graduated from Natrona County High School. After that, his football career took off.
Trevor, the associate commissioner for the Wyoming High School Activities Association, attributes Logan’s football success not just to his son’s character, but to a great support system.
“It’s not just him — he’s had great people around him,” Trevor said. “Great friends growing up and coaches, teachers. His support cast has been outstanding. So it’s not just a one-man show. I mean, he’s worked hard, he’s done all that stuff, but he’s got great people around him also.”
And some of those great people are now sharing in Logan’s success as they follow him to Super Bowl LVI.
“My mom has traveled with me to many, many games in the last six years, from the University of Wyoming — well, even high school, farther than that. So she’s been my travel buddy for a while,” Trevor said.
“And then my daughter is flying out of Denver sometime (Thursday), and we’ll meet her in Orange County. And then Logan’s mom and her boyfriend are flying out, Logan’s fiance is already there, and her mom and dad are coming. I mean, it’s not a huge group, but I think there’s 12 of us. It’s pretty awesome,” he said.
Trevor said Logan and his fiancé are planning a July wedding, and have made plans to buy a house near Cincinnati – although Logan has purchased a house in Casper, as well.
“He is a Wyoming kid through and through,” Trevor said. “He bought a house in Casper, so once the season ends, he’s gonna spend his time in Wyoming. That’s just how he is — he likes the small town feel. He loves Wyoming, and people love him. It’s been pretty dang cool, all the support he’s had from our state.”
No matter the outcome from Sunday’s game, Trevor said Logan has every intention of staying in Cincinnati for as long as the Bengals will have him.
“He would like to stay there, but it’s out of their control,” he said. “I mean, he’ll do what he can to contribute to the team, and I think he’ll be in good shape, but you never know, because it’s a business, too, and guys move all over the country on short notice. But hopefully he gets lucky enough to have his whole career at Cincinnati. He loves his coaches, loves his teammates.”
Trevor said the Bengals are having a much better season compared to last year for a number of reasons.
“One is (quarterback) Joe Burrow,” he said. “He’s good, he’s very good. And we signed some people on our defensive line that helps the defense tremendously. I mean, our defense is 10 times better than we were last year.
“And like I said, our offense with Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase and some of the other receivers, we’ve just got a good team,” Trevor continued. “Somehow, some way, we’ve won three games in a row in the playoffs and we’ll see if we can sneak out another one.”
Trevor said Logan’s Bengals are up against a great team in the Los Angeles Rams.
“They have a great team — a great quarterback, good running backs, a couple of great receivers, and then their defense is great, too,” he said. “When you get to this final two teams in the NFL, they’re going to be two good teams, and the Rams are certainly one of them.”
Because Trevor’s own career has been all about sports, this experience for him has been rewarding – and it’s not just about the game.
“It’s getting to spend time with friends and family and watch (Logan) play on the biggest stages,” he said. “I’ve been so lucky to watch the last three playoff games live with some friends and family, and … obviously that’s the coolest part. And then when we win — that’s really cool. So it’s been an awesome journey for me personally, and I know for Logan as well.”
And although Trevor said he is enormously pleased with his son’s success, it’s Logan’s character that makes him most proud.
“The first thing that most people mention is what a good kid is, and that’s 10 times more important than what he’s doing right now, because that he has to carry for the rest of his life,” he said. “It makes me very proud.”