In the midst of a global pandemic, the NFL has taken great measures and safety precautions to ensure that its regular season could begin on time. The NFL regular season kicked off on September 10th and will run through Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay on February 7th.
The Dallas Cowboys had their season opener on September 13th against the Los Angeles Rams in the first game to ever be played at SoFi Stadium, the immaculate new home of the Rams and the Chargers. Last week I had the opportunity to chat with Cedrick Wilson, Jr., Dallas Cowboys’ Wide Receiver, about the new season, his expectations for the year, and his new partnership with Hydra-Guard Sports Drink.
Cedrick, a 6-foot-2, 200 pound, 24-year-old receiver, is a native of Memphis, TN and former Boise State Bronco standout with over 2,640 yards in only two seasons. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Q: What are some of the main differences between this off-season compared to previous years, having to stay quarantined and following different training schedules?
Cedrick: I believe that not having OTAs this year wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. This “break” gave our bodies a chance to recover from past injuries and also mentally recover from last season. I didn’t find it too hard, as we didn’t necessarily have to use the Cowboys’ facilities to train in the beginning. I kept going to the same gym and facilities where I usually train in the off-season so I could stay fit and ready for the new season.
Q: what was the toughest part of not knowing if the season was going to happen for a while?
Cedrick: I believe the toughest part was keeping the discipline to workout at specific times. Getting up in the morning and getting all of the workouts out of the way before noon was tough at first. When the month we were supposed to have OTAs came, I tried to keep a schedule to not get out of the grind mode. Learning extra playbooks and getting in sync with the guys after a long break was a little challenging as well, but we managed to get it done.
Q: How do you feel personally going into another season and what are some of the things you are focusing on for this upcoming season?
Cedrick: I feel physically better than ever before as compared to the past years that I have been in the league. I want to focus on being an accountable guy that the team can rely on at all times. My goal is to perfect my own craft, getting quicker, faster, smarter and knowing the defenses more than I already know them. Overall, I work towards playing a faster game by being more prepared.
Q: How do you feel about playing on an empty stadium?
Cedrick: I am still not sure what we are doing with the fans. I think fans in general are a massive part of sports, especially the Cowboys fans. I’ve played in packed stadiums where everybody is loud but at the same time in junior college I played with no fans at all and still got the job done. Sometimes you end up not even hearing the crowd because you're so focused on the game... so I think it can be done without much difference, if necessary. We are all excited to play ball and have fun, but it’s also super important to keep everyone safe.
Proper hydration is vital to performance when it comes to athletics. Athletes who develop a systematic method of ensuring they are consistently hydrated have better recovery and higher energy levels. Knowing that, Cedrick partnered with Louisiana’s rising beverage company Hydra-Guard Sports Drink earlier this year prior to the start of the new 2020 season.
The company that counts stars such as Denver Nuggets’ Paul Millsap, Minnesota Vikings’ Alexander Mattison, New Orleans Saints’ trio Terron Armstead, Ryan Ramczyk and Juwan Johnson among its top athletes, now also fuels one of the best WR in the NFL. “The countless reps, the late night workout sessions, the endless sprints, I can’t do any of that if I don’t keep myself properly hydrated. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink allows me to do just that. If I am working out, it’s always within reach,” says Cedrick.