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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jireh Wilson, LB, Wofford College

Jireh Wilson the hard hitting LB from Wofford College recently sat down with Jonathan Joyce of NFL Draft Diamonds.

Student-Athlete Profile:

  • Jireh Wilson
  • Wofford College
  • LB
  • 6’0”
  • 225 LBS.
  • Hometown: Calhoun, GA
  • Twitter: @jirehwilson3

2019 Accolades & Statistics:

  • 2019 Coaches All-Southern Conference Football First Team.
  • 2019 SCSMA All-Southern Conference First Team.
  • GP: 12
  • Total Tackles: 56
  • TFL: 7.0
  • Sacks: 4.5
  • INT: 1
  • PBU: 4
via @jirehwilson3 (Twitter)

Congratulations on the All-Conference honors. What is the initial emotion you felt when you received the news? Who is the first person you shared it with?

I felt blessed and extremely thankful that God has given me the opportunity and the ability to be able to accomplish one of the goals I set for myself. Honestly, I didn’t really share it with anyone. Wofford tweeted it and then people told me congrats. I don’t like coming off and telling people stuff like that and wouldn’t have told anyone unless they asked.

What have you taken away the most from Coach Conklin, Coach Siefkes and the rest of the Wofford coaching staff?

  1. (From Coach Conklin) – You gotta be yourself and go prepare, practice, and play the way you do every single day. I’m a very energetic guy who plays with a lot of passion when it comes to football and I have to prepare that way. Others need to be super focused on themselves and remove all distractions, and some are in between. As long as you understand yourself and how you work then you’ll be able to bring the best out of yourself.
  2. (From Coach Siefkus, Mccray, Greene, Whitehead, Smith – rest of Defensive staff) – Is just understanding the game and how important every phase is. I’ve been able to learn almost the entire defense from run fits to coverages and it is because they were so diligent in teaching and actively instructing what we needed to do. My understanding of the game is greater because of them.
  3. Coach McCray – #1 rule Make The Play.

When football is over, what do you aspire to do in the professional world?

Either use my Biology degree to go to PA school or head into coaching at the college level.

via @CoachTrent_Bunn (Twitter)

What separates you from other players at the linebacker position?

The fact that I’ve played essentially every position on defense except corner. I expect to play inside backer at the next level due to my height but with our defense, at Wofford, I was put into many different situations. I play anchor (outside backer to the field). Against Samford, I played Dog (outside backer to the boundary). Against Furman, I played post safety in certain calls. Against Clemson, I played inside backer when I made a stack call on certain formations. All year long I played Defensive End when rushing the passer in our 4-down package

Who is the toughest player you’ve competed against during your collegiate career?

As a competitor, not really physically, I’d have to say, Devlin Hodges. He’s a winner who goes out and competes every snap. Not the biggest, strongest, or fastest but you want him on your team.

If your life was a book, what would the title be?

“The Lifetime Trek.”

Give me your Mount Rushmore of all-time linebackers, past and present. What made you choose these four players?

  1. Demario Davis – First and Foremost he’s a Man of God who is unashamed. He is very talented and can do so many different things. The way he rushes to the way he covers, he’s an all-around backer without a doubt.
  2. Luke Kuechly – He’s very intelligent. He prepares himself to understand everything the offense is giving him and more. And then when it’s time to go he doesn’t hesitate. He plays with instincts and speed.
  3. Ray Lewis – Again he’s a strong believer and someone I’ve looked up too. Ray Lewis is the epitome of an old school, hard-nosed linebacker. He’s not going to back down from anything and will square any running back up. I love it!
  4. Clay Matthews – I think the dude is just a dog! The way he carries himself and the way he goes and attacks the field is vicious. He is a terror and he just has “it.”

Is there a current or former NFL player you emulate your game after?

I wouldn’t say I’d emulate but I definitely do admire Luke Kuechly. He’s a cerebral player who prides himself on being the smartest person on the field in all situations and still using instinct just to play ball, and I consider myself the same way in that manner. I want to know all the fits not just mine and coverages as well. By understanding the whole, the importance of your job increases as well as knowing what are the weaknesses in every call and the strengths.

Let’s take a trip back to the first day of your freshman year at Calhoun High School. What advice would you give yourself then, knowing what you know now?

GROWTH (Gradually Recreating One’s Weak Thoughts & Habits). This is something I wish I would have picked up early on in life. It’s an acronym I made and I can use it in every aspect of life. Specifically as a freshman with my attitude and mindset. By striving for growth daily you won’t become stagnant. You may not always know where to go but you aren’t wasting a day and getting left behind.

If I’m in Spartanburg on a Saturday night during the Fall, where is the one place I have to eat?

Burrito Hub. It’s right before you get downtown and most people have never heard of it. Best Mexican restaurant I’ve ever had hands down.

You’re in front of all 32 NFL General Managers and have 15 words or less to give them your pitch on why Jireh Wilson will be an asset to their organization for years to come. What do you tell them?

Deep in my soul a believer, encourager, thinker, and challenger who strives for GROWTH daily.

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