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Beyond the Game – Wilkins

Beyond the Game – Wilkins

Note: The following appears in the November issue of Orange: The Experience. For full access to all of the publication’s content, join IPTAY today by calling 864-656-2115.

Q. What is your first memory of playing football?A. I was always one of the bigger guys, and from day one, the coaches were looking at me like I was going to be a stud. But I wasn’t always good at football. The first practice, I struggled a lot. I wasn’t prepared for everything that would be thrown at me, but once I got it, it was magic.

Q. How did you decide to come to Clemson?A. To me, there is no other place like Clemson. I got to go all over the country and see a bunch of different schools, but nowhere else felt like this…the family atmosphere, the culture, the love I feel here. It was impeccable.

Q. What is the biggest lesson you learned transitioning into college?A. The further you get in life, the harder you will have to work.

Q. What is your favorite memory at Clemson so far?A. My favorite game was the Notre Dame game (in 2015). I loved playing out there in the rain. That is something you dream of as a little kid. The crowd that night was crazy and we were playing in a hurricane. It is a crazy story to tell. Especially after winning by two points against such a prestigious program like Notre Dame.

Q. What are the expectations for the rest of the season?A. Personally, I want to be the best teammate I can possibly be and continue to love the guys around me. Together, we want to win as many games as we can and go all the way back to the national championship.

Q. What character traits do you possess that help you on the field?A. I love what I do, and when you love what you do, you will be unstoppable.

Q. What goes through your mind the second before the ball is snapped?A. Dominate the man in front of me…crush him. Also, I remind myself to continue to have fun.

Q. What quote do you live by?A. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

Q. Who is the biggest inspiration in your life?A. My grandfather. He was a great guy. A lot of who I try and be today is because of him. He was a big guy with a great personality and a great smile, and I try and copy that in my life.

Q. What coach has had the biggest impact on you?A. Coach (Brent) Venables and coach (Dan) Brooks. They played a large part in my recruitment and getting me here to Clemson. They are great men who are about doing the right thing. They are good men to have in my life to emulate and learn from.

Q. If you didn’t play football, what would you play/do?A. I want to do something in the communications field, like sports broadcasting. Or I would be a cook. I love to cook classic southern food. I learned a lot from watching my mom and my granny cook.

Q. What is the hardest stadium to play in and easiest stadium to play in?A. The hardest stadium for me so far is NC State. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the hostile crowd. I liked Auburn a lot, too. The easiest is right here in Death Valley. I love playing at home, and the crowd always brings the best energy.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?A. I love Bermuda. I have a couple best friends that live there and I got to visit and fell in love with the pink sand beaches.