2017 Football Camp Series: Canyon High

Canyon's Brandon Wilson carries the ball past the defense during practice this fall. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Canyon High football’s Brandon Wilson and Roland Hardson have a contest.

It’s a competition for who can get the most picks this season.

While the prize is still undecided (“It’s going to be something good,” said Wilson), there is no question about the friendly rivalry between the two.

Both play both ways and are at defensive back on defense. On offense, Wilson is at running back and Hardson is at receiver.

“At practice those guys are always butting heads,” said quarterback Shawn Gallagher. “If Roland is playing receiver, Brandon is playing corner. It’s always a good matchup.”

Canyon’s Roland Hardson is expected to make an impact on both sides
of the ball for the Cowboys this season. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Although Hardson and Wilson, who became friends in third grade, are both projected to make an impact in the secondary, they couldn’t be more opposite.

Hardson wears a bright, rainbow-colored visor on his helmet for practice and always has something to say, while Wilson opts for a clear one and is a little more reserved in conversation.

There’s difference in stature, too. Hardson is 5-foot-8 and lean, but strong.

“I never want to be underestimated for my size,” Hardson said. “My own game, I feel like I’m really smart on the field on defense, and I play really aggressive for my size, break up a lot of passes and stuff, but I think my game is just smart.”

Wilson knows it firsthand.

“Don’t underestimate him,” he said. “That guy will come at you, hit you hard, right on your knees and that’s a wrap.”

Purely a basketball player until last season when he was convinced to come out for football, Wilson is taller, measuring in at about 5-foot-10 and coated in muscle. At the running back position, he complements starting back Taylor Tepesano’s speed with size and willpower.

At defensive back last season, Wilson had 14 tackles. Hardson edged him out with 31.

“They challenge each other,” Tepesano said. “Sometimes at corner, they’ll compete for playing time and all that, and they push each other to the limits. It’s like, a really good thing for them. They’re always at it, trying to be the best corner.”

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