Original Video Interview:
Franz Beard: Steven Wilks, it's the day after you made the commitment and you're now officially a Florida Gator. Tell us about what happened and tell us how you feel about it.
Steven Wilks: I feel awesome. They gave me a full scholarship yesterday and asked me if I wanted to be a Gator. I told him I had to think about it for a little bit, I'm just kidding. I was like, yes sir. And it feels wonderful and I'm ready to play.
Now you grew up going to games in the swamp when you were a little guy watching Danny Wuerffel and then as you got older watching Todd Johnson and you kind of like to play your game the way Todd did. Everybody kind of calls you a headhunter and I see you grin now. Obviously, that's what you like to do, isn't it?
Yes, sir. I like to hunt heads.
So how many helmets have you knocked off last year?
I don't think I knocked off any helmets but I got a couple of nice hits.
Now what would you define a nice hit? Is a nice hit when the guy is sitting there and he has spit bubbling out of the corners of his mouth?
So you like those Lawrence Wright type hits. You seen the pictures of Lawrence Wright laying out Joey Kent?
Can you see yourself doing that some day?
All right. Is that the best part of football? Is that why you play football? Because it gives you a legal way to go out and just whop people up and beat them up?
No, not because I want to beat people up but it's fun and I enjoy playing with teammates, my boys and all that. I enjoy it.
Now you've grown up playing with these two big lugs here, the Pounceys. I mean they've been your buds since you guys were little guys. It's hard to imagine that they were once little but I understand they once were.
Well they weren't littler then me but they were littler then they are now. They were always kind of a little bit bigger then the people our age. They're huge now. And they used to be linebackers, they used to be I guess you could say more agile but as they've grown…
Now, as you've been recruited by the Gators, obviously, Coach Charlie Strong has been the one who has been recruiting this area. Talk to me about Charlie Strong. What do you like about Charlie?
I love him. He's awesome; he's awesome guy and an awesome person. Every time you see him he always has a smile and I like that. Usually you see linebacker coaches are like mean and stuff but Coach Strong you can relate to him and stuff like that. He's fun to talk to and he's a nice person.
And now Coach Urban, you kind of developed a relationship, since you've been up to Florida, you kind of started developing a relationship with him. How do you like him? What do you like about him as a person and as a football coach?
He's real hands on with his players and stuff. You don't really see that in a lot of coaches. He's like I don't know, if he'll hug you once, he'll hug you 15 times. I don't know, he's like a father type figure to his players and he treats them like he would treat anybody else.
Now how about as a football coach?
As a football coach, I like his way, he's serious when he has to be and he gets his point across and he doesn't have to be really in your face. When he says something, you understand he's not playing around.
So when Urban Meyer said, "Do you want to be a Gator?" This was it, huh? This was the end of it all and now it was time to get ready to go out and knock heads and win another State championship.
Three in a row, chance to go 45 and 0 and a chance to win two national championships, what's that like?
Surreal, it's I don't know, if you would have asked me two years ago, I would have been like no, but we've come a long way, the coaching staff, our coaching staff is great and we have a lot of talent and we just have to stick together.
How about the confidence? You guys have the confidence that you can go out there and win any game against anybody?
You have to, you have to have that confidence. If not, they'll stick it to you.
Six of you Lakeland guys going to the University of Florida and you've played on teams that have won so many games in a row and done so much, what do you guys bring as a group to the University of Florida?
Obviously, we know how to win championships and we know what it takes on this level and we can take that to the next level and that will help out. I mean a lot of players that don't know what it's like, you know what I mean, coming from high schools and combination of (5 03 – inaudible) help the Gators playing.
What does it take to win at the next level? What do you think?
At the next level?
Yeah at this level and the next one.
Teamwork and sticking together for 15 weeks. How many weeks in college?
We have to stick together. Again towards the end of the season you get like you've been playing football, you practices get, you know, kind of tiring but I don't know, you have to stay hungry.
And you told me yesterday, these guys are your brothers. They really are like your brothers, I think, aren't they?
You would do anything for them?
I would do anything for them.
All right. Now Florida, you're playing safety here in Lakeland?
In Florida, I understand Coach Charlie Strong has said you're going to be working with me now you're going to be a linebacker.
Yeah, I have to put on the weight and all that stuff but if I can get the weight there's a chance I'll play linebacker.
Now is putting on weight difficult for you or is it something you really just hadn't worked at yet?
I haven't really worked at it. I hadn't really had to gain weight but at the Gator (6 17 – inaudible) Center or whatever, I don't think it would be hard.
And lifting the weights and stuff like that and maybe you'll let your hair grow down a little long and you'll look like Kevin Green, huh?
You think someday you'll just be a big guy who goes out there and knocks people into next week.
All right. Now when did you start feeling, okay maybe this is all going to happen? Because I know it was your dream all along to be a Gator.
But when did you start getting that feeling of, hey this might just happen any time now?
When I guess Paul got offered the other day and I was kind of like, well I'm the only one left but Coach Strong (6 57 – inaudible) and told me to give him a call and when I called him he wanted me to come take a visit and that was kind of when I was like, oh yes it's now or never.