Lincolnton (NC) High cornerback C.J. Wilson was more than a little surprised when his mother informed him that NC State was offering a scholarship. This past weekend, his dream of playing division one football became a reality when he accepted the Wolfpack's offer. Pack Pride talked with Wilson after his official visit to Raleigh.
Pack Pride: Before you ever got the offer from NC State, what did you feel like your college plans were going to be?
"I didn't really understand the recruiting process. What I was thinking was that I would sign with a small college which was fine at that point in time. But then NC State called and I was thinking I would come down there for a visit and if I liked it I was going to commit."
Pack Pride: Was it a surprise when you found out they had offered?
"It was a shock and I wasn't expecting it at all. I hadn't talked to the State coaches since the end of my junior year. So when my mom called me and said State had offered I was like man, that's really crazy because I hadn't spoke to them all season."
Pack Pride:When do you think State really became aware of you and your abilities?
"I don't know. Personally I think they may have seen me in the state championship game because we played at that field. So I think they may have glanced down there and seen a couple of plays. They already had my film and talked to some of the Shrine Bowl coaches. One thing led to another and they called me that Sunday."
Pack Pride:Everyone is pretty familiar with your records as a running back. Is the move to corner going to be a big transition for you?
"It's not going to be a big transition because I played corner all this year and half of last year. So it's going to be another step for me because I'm not used to playing it so much but I already have a grasp of it. I just need to learn a little more technique and I'll have it down pat."
Pack Pride:You won a state title, got MVP in the state championship game, went to the Shrine Bowl and got a division one offer. Does it get much better than that?
"It's a dream come true. That's what I was telling my parents earlier. It's just a dream come true. To break all the records in your hometown and then win a state championship, go to the Shrine Bowl and then get an ACC offer, that's a dream come true."
Pack Pride: Looking back on your official visit to State, what was the highlight of the trip for you?
"The highlight was hanging out with the players, getting to know them and what they're like. Really, it was just hanging out. The whole experience was great. When we got together it was just like we had known each other for so long."
Pack Pride: What was your impression of the coaches?
"It was great. They were real, down to earth guys. They're going to let you know what's going on straight off the bat. He told me what I needed to improve on and what body parts I need to get bigger. They wanted me to practice my techniques and they just seemed like really nice guys."
Pack Pride:State had several of their higher ranked commitments on visits with you this past weekend. How did it feel to be a part of that group?
"I wasn't even sure if I was supposed to be there. They told me who and all was going to be there and I was like, are you sure you want me there? It was a lot of big name people but it was a good experience. You know, they're regular guys. They didn't want any special treatment. It was nice."
At 5-11, 175 pounds, Wilson finished off his senior season by breaking the Lincoln County record for career total yardage (5,919 total yards rushing and receiving), career rushing yardage (3,941 yards) and career scoring (468 points). In 2007 he rushed for 1,372 yards and 19 touchdowns while leading Lincolnton to their second 2A state title in 15 years. He was named MVP of the state title game.
To watch this video, you will need Microsoft Media Player. Click here to here download the most recent version of Media Player.