O’Sullivan, 44, courted controversy earlier in the tournament when he criticised the younger generation of players and said he would “have to lose an arm and a leg to fall out of the top 50”.
But he has praised Wilson, 28, and believes his hard work will ensure he has a successful career.
“He is what I call a proper snooker player,” O’Sullivan, who led the final 10-7 after the first day, told Eurosport.
“He has taken some defeats hard but you know he was always learning from them. He wasn’t coming away broken, he was coming away thinking how do I become a better player. A bit like me reading the Joe Davis book. He works very hard with his coach Barry Stark and they are always on the table. That shows he is in the sport for the right reasons and wants to win titles and 100 per cent he will.
Highlights: Ronnie O'Sullivan leads World Snooker Championship final despite Kyren Wilson fightback
He wants it so bad and if you want it that bad you make it happen.
“He is a proper player and there aren’t that many about. A lot of the young players coming through are ‘iPhone players’. They are always playing games on their phones, but Kyren is one of the players who puts their phone away and it’s a job and a business and he is serious about what he is doing.”
O’Sullivan also admitted that his own performance so far hasn’t been “vintage”.
“It’s not in my style to play defensive snooker and I feel I have had to play quite defensive in this tournament quite a lot of the time because I haven’t been hitting a lot of solid shots regularly enough to allow me to hit the white with authority to start playing real aggressive snooker.
“I have had to hold back because a lot of the power shots I haven’t had the accuracy for, so I have had to rein it in a bit. But now and again I’ve thought I have to try and make something happen so in every match I have found enough solid shots to enable me to have a good session or get back in the match or finish off strong.
“It hasn’t been a vintage performance, not like 2012 or 2013 where I don’t think anybody got near me in any of the matches. This year I have had to really fight and try and post a score and get a number on the scoresheet.”
The Break: Episode 10 - Still Too Close To Call
Ronnie O'Sullivan may have a three frame lead over Kyren Wilson going into the last day of the World Snooker Championship final, but as ex player Neal Foulds and commentator Philip Studd discuss with Rachel Casey, this is a very unpredictable year and an extraordinary championship; anything could happen.
The trio have a comprehensive review of the first two sessions of the final and look ahead to the next two.
Plus Rachel has a lively conversation with Eurosport presenter Colin Murray on his three-week experience at the Crucible being in the company of Jimmy White and all the top competitors.