The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle


Charlie Wilson rewriting Hamline records

Courtesy of Hamline Athletics

This story was previously published in print on Nov. 21, 2023.

Hamline University is pretty old. Piper Athletics is almost as old as the institution. Decades of high-flyers and record-setters have played for Hamline over its broad history, but one player this season hit the reset button for football receivers. 

Charlie Wilson broke the receiving yards in a season record this year, as well as receptions in one season, a record he had already broken in 2022.

He also snagged the career receptions record, hauling in 191 catches in his three seasons. Wilson, though, seems unphased and demonstrates Hamline’s team-first approach. 

Story continues below advertisement

“Y’know, it was good at the beginning of the season, getting those two wins out of conference,” Wilson said. “Just being able to compete with some MIAC teams better than we have since I’ve been here personally ultimately, our goal is to win the games… overall it was a very promising year and I think it shows that our program is going in the right direction.”

Even coming off of a strong season a year ago, Wilson’s 2023 campaign blew expectations out of the water. The key to unlocking that explosion was found in the offseason. 

“Last year, me and  [Quarterback Alejandro Villanueva] couldn’t really connect on any sort of deep throws, so that was kind of a big problem we had,” Wilson said. “So all offseason we were just working on, basically just deeper throws, getting the connection down and getting the timing down also, just working on becoming a more explosive offense, and the best way to do that is through deep passes.”

That work was noticed by not only the team but the staff as well as expected the now delivered success.

“I mean, just based off of how he worked in the offseason, how he worked in training camp, you had an idea that he could have a good year,” head coach Chip Taylor said. “I mean to at some point be leading the nation in touchdowns and be so high in all-purpose yards, that was a little bit of a shock, but doesn’t surprise me too much.”

Wilson was not only leading DIII football programs across the nation — at one point, he was leading all of college football in receiving touchdowns. 

“The way he prepared, the way the quarterback prepared, the way the offensive line prepared, it’s not just one guy,” Taylor said. “That’s the thing about football, if the offensive line doesn’t hold up, which they did a better job this year, then the quarterback who was better this year than last, the ball can’t get to Charlie, so it was a combination of everybody doing their jobs, and he just happened to get highlighted a lot.” 

Taylor was also aware of Wilson and the offense’s increase in explosiveness. 

“It’s our job to put these guys in position to make plays, so when you have a special kid like Charlie Wilson, we have to find ways to utilize him in the pass game and a little bit in the run game too,” Taylor said.“So that’s on us as coaches, but it was fun having a weapon out there, knowing that, for the most part, if you throw the ball up to that guy, he’s gonna come down with it.” 

Wilson’s 2023 season was the crown jewel of a great bounceback season for the program, with hopes of rolling this positive momentum forward into the coming seasons.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Oracle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *