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In the Trenches with Wilbur Hooks, Jr.
Release: 09/26/2002
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Sept. 26, 2002

Senior wide receiver Wilbur Hooks, Jr. may not lead the Huskies in receptions, but that's OK -- I mean, if Hooks can open for rap star Coolio, it stands to reason that getting open for quarterback Cody Pickett shouldn't be too difficult. A talented singer, Hooks and some friends from his Anchorage, Alaska, hometown formed an R&B group in high school, and rode the wave of success to the big stage, eventually opening for Coolio at an Anchorage-area concert. That isn't to say that Hooks is a slouch on the football field -- fans will recall his game-winning TD reception at Colorado in 2000, his acrobatic catch to preserve the Huskies' emotional scoring drive in the final seconds against Stanford that same season, and his equally-impressive 22-yard score against San Jose State in 2002. Let's just say, though, that Hooks knows which of his talents is most likely to pay the bills after college, and he's excited to get back on stage.

GoHuskies.com: If you weren't playing football, what would you be doing?
Wilbur Hooks: "I would be singing. I would probably be in Las Vegas with a couple of the other guys in my group trying to get another CD going."

GH: I heard you opened for Coolio a few years ago. How was that?
Hooks: "It was cool. I was 16 years old. We won a talent show and got the opportunity to open for Coolio when he had some of his bigger songs out like, 'Fantastic Voyage' and 'Gangsters Paradise.' We got to meet him and he is a really short guy! But he was really cool and it was a great experience."

GH:Is it true that the NCAA won't let you produce another CD while in college?
Hooks: "Once I am done here I will get back into it. The NCAA won't let me do it right now because I made a profit from it. I had CDs that were a product, so it was kind of like having a job. I am not in a hurry for the season to get over with, but when it is, I want to start my singing career up again."

GH: Speaking of football, what has been your favorite moment this season?
Hooks: "That's hard, because it is so early, but if I had to pick one it would have to be my touchdown against San Jose State. I haven't scored in awhile, but I am hungry for more. I think there will be bigger moments later on."

GH: Do you have a favorite football movie?
Hooks: "I would have to say, 'Remember the Titans.' I like that movie because I really like how the team came together, even though that coach was crazy making those kids go through three-a-days. There are a lot of good movies that are out there like, 'The Program,' but I am not one of those guys to get really riled up about the crazy things that happen in those types of movies. I really like movies that show how teams come together; it reminds me of our Rose Bowl team."

GH: Who is the best player you have every played against?
Hooks: "Mike Rumph from Miami -- he is the real deal. I guess that's why he was a first-round pick. I have had chances to go against the best. Quentin Jammer, Mike Rumph, Dennis Weathersby, Ricky Manning -- all those guys. The Pac-10 and the teams we play against is where it's at, they're great."

GH: If you could take a vacation right now, where would you go?
Hooks: "Cabo San Lucas. It's great -- you have the sand, the water, and nothing to worry about."

GH And maybe if you could take someone famous along with you ...?
Hooks: "Oh my gosh, I would take Jada Pinkett Smith. I have always have a thing for her. I mean, she is married to a guy named Will, and my name is Will."

GH: If you could take Jada out somewhere in Seattle, where would it be?
Hooks: "It would have to be the Metropolitan Grill, though I would make her pay because she has more money than I do."

GH: What is your favorite sport other than football?
Hooks: "Fishing -- being from Alaska, I love to fish. I take my fellas up there every year and make sure they get that going."

GH: Do you have any superstitions?
Hooks: "I always have to get in the steam room for five minutes to loosen up my muscles before I take the field. If I don't do it, I feel stiff and I can't have that."

GH: If someone gave you a million dollars, what would you do?
Hooks: "I would give 10 percent to my church and then hook my parents up. Then I would pay off the rest of my bills and enjoy the rest."

GH: And if you blew it on a car, what would you buy?
Hooks: "A Lamborghini Countach, I love it. Those are some of the best-looking cars. I have always thought they were better looking than the Ferrari. The Lamborghini is just a filthy-looking car."

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