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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Mitchell Wilcox, TE, University of South Florida

Mitchell Wilcox the physical TE from the University of South Florida recently sat down with Jonathan Joyce of Draft Diamonds

Student-Athlete Profile:

  • Mitchell Wilcox
  • University of South Florida
  • TE
  • 6’5”
  • 245lbs.
  • Hometown: Tarpon Springs, FL
  • Twitter: @wilcox_mitchell

2018 Accolades & Statistics:

  • 2018 American Athletic Conference Football All-Conference First Team.
  • GP: 12
  • Receptions: 43
  • Receiving Yards: 540
  • YP/REC: 12.56
  • TDs: 2
via Mitchell Wilcox (YouTube)

As an athlete, what is your motivation?

I get my motivation from many different areas and there are a lot of things that drive me as a person. I would say the things that contribute to the most motivation to me is my family and wanting to make them proud, the love for this great game that I play, and the “want to” to be someone.

What defines success for you?

For me, success is preparing in the right way, for as long as you need to, so you can fully capitalize on a situation. Regarding myself, I always want to set myself up for success so I can make the most of any opportunity that is “thrown” my way, pun intended.

What would your teammates say about the type of teammate you are?

I believe my teammates would describe me as very competitive in everything that I do. I also believe that they would term me as a passionate, hard-nosed guy, that comes to work every day.

via SoFloBulls – All Bulls, All Day (YouTube)

What are some of your personal “rules” that you never break?

Some rules that I never break well, that list could go on and on. In short, I basically just play the right or wrong game in my head regarding a lot of things, and usually, if I have to think about it too long then I have my answer. But some concrete rules for me would be just making sure I’m in check with taking care of my body and what I’m puttingg into it.

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

There have been some big defensive ends I’ve gone up against and there have been some really fast corners but I would probably have to say, Shaquem Griffin. When we played UCF in 2016 in Tampa there were many times where we were matched up with each other in the run game, and trying to stick and stay on that guy was very difficult. That game stuck out to me because we prepared for him so much. His motor to get to the ball is crazy and he is strong as hell. He’s got that dog in him that no one can take away and I respect the hell out of that.

Who is the best player in the NFL?

I think the most difficult position to play in the NFL is QB. Think about how many great QBs you’ve heard about or know that were great in college or what have you, and didn’t make it at the next level. The timing and decision making has to be elite of the elite to be an NFL QB. To see Tom Brady do what has been doing for so long I’d say he’s the best.

via @USFFootball (Twitter)

What is your team of choice on Madden, why?

I never grew up a Boston sports fan but my go-to Madden team has always been the Patriots, solely for the Brady to Gronk connection. I’m serious though, I just use the Madden teams with the best TE’s.

Failure is inevitable in life. How do you handle situations that don’t go in your favor?

Failure is definitely inevitable and it is something I have had to deal with just like everyone else. For me, when I fail in a situation or don’t win or something doesn’t go my way I take it personally. Some people or friends will try to say, “oh don’t take it personally,” or, “don’t beat yourself up too much.” No, I take it personal and look at what I could have done differently. I find that this way is best way to keep yourself in check, and it helps you grow and learn from your mistakes the fastest. But when it’s all said and done, you still have to remember who you and what your worth is, and just keep grinding.

Is there a current/former NFL player that you model your game after?

I would say I really love what Zach Ertz does and I try to incorporate what he does into my own game. Specifically, he runs great, crisp routes and creates great separation. He creates that separation with good timing, little head fakes, good releases and more. I enjoy watching of him just catch a quick slant, break it off, get big and shed a tackler, and score a TD. That just fires me up. Love Travis Kelce, and I think I run similar to George Kittle and it’s awesome to see him in space after the catch. Gronk is the G.O.A.T of tight ends. He’s just a dominant beast.

via @USFFootball (Twitter)

Knowing what you do now, what would you go back and tell yourself as a High-School Freshman?

To be honest, I would go back and tell myself to go to more exposure camps, get more one on one training with a speed coach, and I might say quit playing so much basketball too and focus more on football.

What is your go-to restaurant near campus?

I have many go-to restaurants, in Tampa near USF, but I would probably have to say Rocco’s Tacos. Best steak quesadilla I’ve ever had in my life and it’s not close.

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

“Small Town Big Dreams.”

via @USFFootball (Twitter)

What song or artist do you like but rarely admit to liking?

I would say I listen to all types of music but an artist I might not admit to liking right away would be Ella Mai.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, living or deceased, who would it be and why?

This is a tough one. I would have to say my first sports icon that I idolized; LeBron James. I’m a LeBron superfan.

via @USFFootball (Twitter)

Forty-years from now, what do you want to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered as a bad-ass football player/tight end, a good family man, and as a person that made a difference in people’s lives that I came in contact with.

In 15 words or less, why should an NFL team invest in you?

Because I’m a high character guy, that is extremely competitive, and I’m here to win.


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