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Mack Wilson on blindside block, handling social media criticism

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama junior linebacker Mack Wilson has handed out a few big hits that eventually went viral since he joined the Crimson Tide football team. But in the 45-34 win over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, Wilson found himself on the receiving end of a vicious hit.

Wilson was in pursuit of Sooners’ quarterback Kyler Murray but never reached the Heisman Trophy winner. That’s because OU wide receiver CeeDee Lamb caught the linebacker with a blindside block that knocked him off his feet. The video quickly made its way onto social media, and ESPN’s three-second video clip has nearly three million views since Saturday evening.

“That’s a dream shot for a wide receiver,” ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said.

It’s also a dream shot for Wilson, who responded to the video during Tuesday interviews.

“I feel like it was a good block,” Wilson told reporters prior to the first national championship game practice “I’d do the same thing, but one thing I can say is if that was me doing the blocking, that person wouldn’t have got up. I feel like I bounced right back up. It didn’t hurt as much. I feel like he made a great play and that gave them great momentum to go down and score on that drive.”

Immediately after the game, Wilson quote-tweeted ESPN’s video with “Good hit boy. you got me! But we got the Dub. So i ain’t tripping!” He also responded to a video of his viral hit on Texas A&M kickoff return Speedy Noil from the 2016 season with “He saw this coming though..”

On Tuesday, Wilson reacted to a tweet from LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and the similar blindside hit he absorbed after throwing an interception in a PlayStation Fiest Bowl against UCF.


Known for his time on social media, Wilson heard from college football fans when Lamb blocked him, but the junior linebacker, while explaining his interactions with them, said he doesn’t get frustrated. 

“I really don’t pay attention to it,” Wilson said. “Sometimes I might run across it. I may talk to myself, but I don’t go back and forth with nobody on social media because I know God put me in this position to be where I’m at for a reason. I thank him every day for it. So, there’s no way that a person who doesn’t know anything about football can tell me nothing, so I just look (past) it.

Wilson and the No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide started their preparation for No. 2 Clemson and the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Tuesday. The Tigers have the nation’s No. 2 scoring defense (12.9 points per game), No. 2 rushing defense (92.57 ypg), No. 2 total defense (274.6 ypg) and No. 16 passing defense (182.1 ypg) entering the title game.

Wilson and some of Alabama’s other defensive players took offense to pundits assuming the Orange Bowl between the Tide and Oklahoma would be a shootout, discounting UA’s defense. Prior to the fourth meeting between these two teams in as many years, the signal caller of the defense sees similarities in Alabama and Clemson but is out to prove which defense is the best.

“I hear people say that they think they have the best defense in the country,” Wilson said. “I feel like we have the best defense in the country. They have a great offense. We have a great offense. I feel like we’re similar, and that’s why we’re the last two teams for the national championship. … We’re not trying to prove anything. We’re trying to be that team that we know we are. We’re just trying to get better every day, we’re trying to do all the little things right and improve every day.”

No. 1 Alabama (14-0, 8-0 SEC) and No. 2 Clemson (14-0, 8-0 ACC) will face off in the CFP National Championship Game on Monday, Jan. 7, at Levi’s Stadium at Santa Clara, Calif.  

Contact Charlie Potter by 247Sports’ personal messaging or on Twitter (@Charlie_Potter).

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