'Swamp Donkey' emerges after sealing Tigers win

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Other than Tiger players and coaches, nobody who's a fan of the University of Memphis is ready to put to bed the big win over UCLA last Saturday at the Liberty Bowl.

But, there's One Player who's still on Cloud 9. He's known on campus as the Swamp Donkey.

Meet Tigers Defensive Tackle Jonathan Wilson: He's from a town so far south in the Bayous of Louisiana, English is almost a second language.

Wilson didn't get to play until the second half of UCLA because of a targeting penalty in the Tigers first game against Louisiana-Monroe.

"I can't watch the game." Wilson said. "I was just in there walking back and forth, listening to music. That's all I was doing. Every once in a while, I'd take my headphones off and I'd hear the sirens go off that we'd scored and I was just going crazy in there. I didn't know what to do."

Once Wilson finally got in the game against the Bruins, his play spoke for itself.

Wilson came up with a huge sack on UCLA Heisman Candidate Josh Rosen, and later pressured him into an errant 4th down pass to seal the win late in the 4th quarter.

That play also sealed the man Tiger coaches call Swamp Donkey, into Tiger lore. So, how'd he get that nickname anyway?

"I think it was like, my 3rd day of fall camp." Wilson recalls. "I think I had a big play, and we were watching it the next day in the defensive team room, and Coach Ball just started calling me that. Most of the coaches and the strength staff call me Swamp Donkey, so that's how that stuck."

Wilson says he owns the name now.

At 6'3" and 285 pounds, expect more from the Swamp Donkey on Saturday night when the Tigers host SIU at the Liberty Bowl.

You can see that game on WMC Action News 5. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

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