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Question and Answer with Linebacker Gerris Wilkinson

Oct. 20, 2005

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

“Everyone thinks that I’m a quiet guy but once I get to know someone, I can be pretty talkative.”

What would be your ultimate Sports Center highlight?

“It would be to cause a fumble against the quarterback of Georgia and to recover it and run it back for a touchdown.”

If you had to exchange wardrobes with someone on the team, whose clothes would you want?

Eric Henderson. He always comes up with something new to wear.”

Tell about one visible scar…

“I have a scar underneath my lip from playing basketball when I was in junior high. I went up to block a shot and the elbow of the guy shooting the ball hit my lip and my tooth went through my lip. I ended up having to get stitches.”

If you could relive any single family outing in your life, what would it be? “I went to New York with my family this past summer and it was my first time there. We were there for a week and basically did all the sight-seeing that tourists do. I have a lot of family that lives in New Jersey so we stayed with them and drove into the City during the day.”

If you could have season tickets for any team, sitting in any place in the stadium, which team would it be and where would you sit?

“I would sit on the 50-yard line at an Oakland Raiders game since it’s my home team.”

Who has had the greatest influence on your athletic career?

“It would have to be a tie between my high school football coach John Beam and my stepdad. Coach Beam really got me to play football at a much higher level and my stepdad was the main reason that I kept playing football and he always pushed me to go to practice every day. If it weren’t for them, I probably wouldn’t be playing football right now.”

If you were forced to give up all of your possessions but one, what would it be?

“My bible.”

What is your best non-athletic talent?

“Cooking. My mom taught me how to cook when I was younger and she always said that if you like to eat, you should like to cook.”

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from being a college athlete?

“I’ve learned how to keep performing no matter how much adversity you face. Nothing will ever always go as planned so you have to learn how to deal with whatever life throws at you.”

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

“The one thing I always do is call my mom the night before every game.”

What is the best thing about being a college athlete at Tech?

“I’d have to say it’s the relationships and the bonds you have with your teammates. We spend so much time together that we end up feeling like a big family.”

What has been the most memorable game that you have been a part of?

“This year’s game at Auburn was memorable because there was so much hype going into it. I always wanted to play well because it was the first game of my senior year and I got an interception at the end of the game.”

What won’t you miss about being a college athlete?

“I won’t miss the summer conditioning and the early morning workouts.”

What is your all-time favorite meal?

“It would be friend chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, cornbread, and banana pudding.”

If you could make one thing come true for a friend, what would it be and for whom?

“I would have liked to play college football with my friend from high school, Mark Hall. We both went to the same school from elementary school to high school, and we always talked about playing college football together. When I graduated from Tech last year, he was at my graduation and told me that I was living for both us and that meant a lot to me.”

What team would you add to the schedule?

“Any team from the Pac-10, especially California. I have a lot of friends that play college football out there and I’d like to be able to play a game against them.”

Besides Bobby Dodd Stadium, what is your favorite stadium to play in?

“Doak Campbell Stadium at Florida State. I just like driving up to their stadium because it looks like a castle. All the fans, the cheers, and the atmosphere during the game are great.”

Favorite musical artist:

“The Notorious B.I.G. Lyrically, I think he was the best rapper ever and I wish he could’ve put out a few more albums.”

Favorite TV show:

“I like the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I never really watched it until I took this politics class. We had to watch at least three news shows, and I started watching the Daily Show because it would inform of you of what’s going on in the world but would make it funny at the same time.”

Latest music CD that you’ve bought:

“The new Kanye West CD called Late Registration. I like it because he has a different style of hip-hop and you can tell he works hard on his albums because of the quality of the music that he puts out.”

Who is the person you would most like to meet (dead or alive)?

“I would’ve liked to meet my grandmother on my mom’s side. She passed away three years before I was born and everyone in my family always talks about how good of a woman she was.”

Who is the athlete you most admire?

“Ray Lewis from the Baltimore Ravens. We play the same position and I really admire the passion and intensity with which he plays the game. He also has a great work ethic and I think that’s why he’s the best linebacker in the game.”

If you could play any other sport at Tech, what would it be?

“I would love to try baseball even though I’ve never actually gone out there and played it. I think that after playing football, it would be a lot easier on your body and requires less physical activity. The baseball players here also seem like they have a lot of fun and are generally more relaxed.”

Besides playing in the NFL, what are your plans after college?

“I would want to go into business with my dad. He just started his own real estate company and I think that is something I would enjoy doing.”

Name a professor that has had an impact on you here at Tech:

“Robert Burgess. He was my operations and management of technology professor, and he had a lot of real-world experience that he would use to relate to what we were learning in our classes. It made me feel like I could learn a lot more that way than if I was just reading material from a book.”

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