August 28, 2009

Wilson is ready to challenge at DE

With the defensive ends rotation looking fairly set with Derrick Morgan, Robert Hall, Anthony Egbuniwe and Izaan Cross several players are looking to impressive defensive line coach Giff Smith enough to work into the rotation. One of those players is redshirt freshman Antonio Wilson. Jacketsonline caught up with the former Columbia High School standout to see how things are going.

How are things going at defensive end?

"It is rough right now, but in the end we are trying to get a championship, so that is the price we have to pay."

What is the competition like at defensive end?

"The competition is pretty tough because we have a lot of young guys who have real talent. We have a great defensive line coach so with his help we can all get where we need to be."

What do you need to do to get into the upper part of the rotation?

"Coach told me that I need to play more physical. I am getting better at that. I am working on getting stronger. I feel like I can come in behind Derrick or Robert and produce as much as they can."

Can you work at either defensive end spot?

"Yes sir."

How do the young guys look to you?

"They make a lot of mistakes, but they all work hard and that is all that matters."

What is your comfort level like with a year in this system under your belt?

"I feel very comfortable and way more comfortable than last year. Last year I made a lot of mistakes, but coach said I have progressed a lot, so I am pretty confident."

Are you excited about the opportunity to get on the field this year and knock some heads?

"Of course, I am."

What do you need to do between now and the kickoff to get ready for Jacksonville State and get yourself in a position to play?

"I need to get my mind prepared more than my body. The game can be physical, but it is more a mental thing than a physical challenge."

How much do you weigh and is that your ideal weight?

"Weight-wise I am 250 pounds right now. By my senior year I plan on being at least 275 pounds like where Mike Johnson was, but with speed too."

Did seeing Johnson have success impact you in terms of making you more determined to get in a position to get on the field?

"Michael was my mentor and he taught me everything I know. When he left, I took everything he taught me and used it on the field. To this day, I still call him and talk to him to see how he is doing and he gives me some pointers of what to do on the field."

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