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Getting to Know a Draft Pick: C.J. Wilson

Posted Jun 15, 2010

To help Packers fans get to know the newest members of the team better, Packers.com caught up with each of the seven 2010 draft picks for an extended Q&A about their background, both on and off the field. The interviews will be posted as a weekly series, beginning today with seventh-round selection C.J. Wilson from East Carolina.

Where is your hometown, and what is the most interesting thing about it?

Belhaven, North Carolina. The most interesting thing is there's only one way in and one way out. It's right there on the water, a waterfront community, so it's a nice place to be. Real small. You have to know where you're going to get there.

Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?

I always listen to the same song every game, since I've been in college. It's "Power Belongs To God" by Hezekiah Walker. After that, I just concentrate on what I have to do, imagining myself making plays. I listened to it my first game in college, and I've listened to it every game since, home or away. It pumps me up, motivates me. It gives me encouragement to know that God is going to help me, because the power belongs to Him. I'll just give it my best shot, give it all I can give. The only thing you can do for your teammates is to give your greatest effort, so I always listen to that song.

What's the most memorable football game you've ever been a part of, be it Pop Warner, high school or college?

I would say it would be last year, before the bowl game, in our home stadium against Houston to win the Conference USA championship. The game was on the line, and they had to score a touchdown to win. I think we were winning by six (38-32). Their quarterback, Case Keenum, was an All-American, and they were driving the ball and we couldn't stop them for nothing. All of a sudden, one of my teammates, Van Eskridge, came up with an interception at the goal line, and that's the loudest I ever heard a crowd roar. It was a great memory.

Who's the most influential coach you've ever played for and why?

I couldn't say just one, but it would have to be Coach (Skip) Holtz. He was a players' coach, and the staff he put together was a great staff. I knew they weren't going to be there too long, because they were too good. I knew everybody would want him and offer him a lot more money. He just left to go to South Florida. He was a great guy and taught us a lot, and I'll never forget the foundation he gave me. He was first-class everything, whether it was meeting rooms, on the field, off the field. I never had one bad experience with him. When he got mad, he told you why he was mad. It was a great experience. I love him and I wish him great success in the future.

Who's the most famous athlete you've ever met in person?

I would say the guy right here, Aaron Rodgers. I just told him today I'm glad he's on our team. Playing against the guy, to see the things he can do, he's so calm and collected. It's natural to him, and it's just amazing to me. He will be one of the best quarterbacks to play the game.

When was the first time you set foot in the city of Green Bay, and what was your first impression?

When I flew in for rookie mini-camp, and my first impression was I just got off the plane where I boarded, because this is exactly how it looks back in Greenville and Raleigh, down my way. I love the environment. All the trees, the country atmosphere, it's just like back home.

Who is the most interesting person in your family?

I've got six brothers, two sisters and my parents. They all are characters, but I'd say my dad, he's the most interesting person. He's a very humble man, but very comical. He doesn't know he's being funny, but he's really being funny. So I'll say him.

Outside of anything in sports, what's your proudest accomplishment in life?


Graduating college with my degree. I didn't really deserve to go, because in my past experience in high school, I didn't have the right grades and courses. But I thank the Lord for giving me a second opportunity, and I give all the glory and honor to Him for that.

When you were a kid, did you dream of growing up to be a football player, or did you dream of something else?


I dreamed of being a basketball player. I just wanted to play in the NBA, and I really think I could have made it to the NBA if I had kept at it (laughs). But I learned really fast that I was really good at football. I still love basketball, but I know football is something I'm really good at. I've been playing football since I was nine years old, and I played in every game. I played basketball also, every game. I always wanted to play basketball, but I wasn't tall enough to play down low.

At what point were you sure you were going to be in the NFL someday?

I thought I had a shot after my sophomore year (in college). I felt pretty good, starting as a freshman, starting as a sophomore, so I just really went full-force with it. Luckily I got great (defensive line) coaches in Coach (Vernon) Hargreaves and Coach (Thomas) 'Rock' (Roggeman). The whole defensive staff taught me a lot and helped get me here.

Was there a football player you idolized growing up? Why him?

Yeah, Reggie White. He was a minister off the field, and being that my dad's a pastor, and I'm a devout Christian, I'd like to play just like him. To do the things he did, play football and still hold up the Lord's name.

Have you ever attended an NFL game as a fan?

Never. I never attended a college game until I got there. So it will be the same thing. My first time experiencing a game will be when we play the first game.

What has been the most exciting part about being a Packer so far?

Everything. When you walk through the doors, until you see it and experience it, you don't understand it. But to walk through the doors and see all the championships they've won and to feel that environment that this is a winning program, and it forever will be a winning program. Everybody here has a great attitude and looks out for each other, and it's a great atmosphere. Speaking with some of my former teammates and some other players I played with, I think we've got it the best up here.

What are your hobbies? What do you like to do when you are not playing football?

I like to play the piano and play video games. That's all I pretty much do when I'm not studying or playing football. My mother taught me piano when I was 3 or 4 years old. She really didn't know how to play herself, but she just taught me how to follow the tune in my head on the piano, and I've been playing ever since. I can't read music, and all I can do is play by ear, but I've been playing with my church for about 10 years now.

What do you want Packer fans to know about you as a person?

That I love Packer football. I want them to know that I love it here and I want to help the team win a Super Bowl.

 
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