I noticed you wearing a cowboy hat in the locker room recently. Is that standard garb for you?
Actually, I just started wearing one. I first wore one as part of a Halloween costume. But it was an actual hat. So I said, well, maybe I should actually wear this thing. I did pay 60 bucks for it. So I've been wearing it, and I'm looking at getting another one; maybe a different color.
I guess they wear a lot of those in Omaha, Texas. Tell me about Omaha.
It has a little over 1,000 people. Actually, maybe a little less now because a lot of people are moving out. But being from a small town kept me grounded. It didn't spoil me. A lot of guys come from big cities, and they tend to get spoiled.
So what is a must-do if you pass through Omaha, Texas?
Um, nothing. It's basically a glimpse. We have one stoplight, two gas stations. Actually, one of the gas stations is a gas station/grocery store. But it's starting to expand. We have a couple of little restaurants now.
So what in the world did you guys do for fun in high school?
I'd go to my cousins' house, and we'd all go to Dairy Queen. That's where everybody hung out. We'd sit in the parking lot and eat Dairy Queen. Or you know what? We'd go to Wal-Mart. But that was in the next town. It was about 20 miles away.
You mentioned that you're really into hunting. What sort of hunting are you into?
Right now, it's deer season, so I'm looking to get my first deer. My brother-in-law has really gotten me into this. So I went and bought a bow last year, and I got me a rifle. I'm going back to (Missouri) on Monday to see if I can get me one. I still have a little bit of time in this season.
This isn't a new hobby for you, right?
No. I was always into hunting. My dad and I and my brother would always go out at night and go 'coon hunting. We'd get possum, quail, squirrels, rabbits — anything. My grandmother would always ask us stuff like, "Can ya'll bring me back a raccoon so I can cook it up?"
Ever had raccoon?
No. I wouldn't try it.
So what's the most adventurous thing you've eaten?
Probably quail. It tastes like chicken to me. But the thing is it's so small. I didn't really like having to deal with getting the meat out of those little bones. It seemed like a waste of time to me.
Okay, so raccoons, squirrels, possum — anything else?
We'd also get frogs and turtles. We'd go out to a pond and shine the light in there. Then my dad would take his 12-gauge and shoot right next to the frog. It would kill them without actually shooting them. I guess they had a heart attack or something.
Let's move on because I can't top that. You played quarterback in high school. Do you miss it?
Every once in a while. I go out and throw the ball around sometimes, and I can say I still have my spiral. We ran the option and from time to time the bootleg, so I didn't throw it much. In my junior year, we led our team to our school's first and only state championship. We still get a lot of praise for that.
This is a weekly question: What's playing the most on your iPod?
It depends. Things I listen to when I'm working out or getting ready for a game are like the Rocky sound track, Welcome to the Jungle, a lot of hard-core stuff. Then after the game, on the bus maybe, I might listen to something smooth, like Ne-Yo or Justin Timberlake. Something mellow to get my mind off football.
Other weekly question is what Web site do you think you visit most?
Right now, when I get on, I'm going to Google looking for people's pictures of deer that people have shot. It makes me mad because I haven't got mine yet. My father-in-law and brother-in-law send me all these pictures of these bucks they find. They got one last year that was a monster. It was a nine-point buck. That has to do with antlers. And it had good mass, which scores pretty high.
I have to ask: How did you end up at Oklahoma? Is there a story?
I had three visits. My first visit was to Arkansas. My second visit was to Oklahoma, and my third visit was to Texas A&M. I didn't want to go to school in Texas. I wanted to venture out of the state. When I went to Arkansas, I was like, "Man, I love it here." They showed me video of them beating Texas, and that's what I wanted. I wanted to beat Texas because they never sent me a recruiting letter. Then I went to Oklahoma, and that changed everything. I loved it. And they had a better graduation rate than Arkansas, which my mom pointed out.
Very good choice. My first year, we won a national championship and went 13-0. That was exciting.
And you beat Texas?
That's right. I got the whole nine.
Defensive lineman Jimmy Wilkerson wants to bag a deer about as badly as he wants to take down opposing quarterbacks. Growing up in East Texas, it's hard not to be a country boy.