NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - In 5 years with the SFA football program. Chris Wilkerson went from a kid that never thought he would play college football to a player being considered by many NFL franchises.
In his final season with the Lumberjacks Wilkerson started the year with pre-season All-American honors. He finished the year with All-American honors. It was an honor that was not close to what he thought his college life would be like.
“I was originally going to go play tennis at the Division II level starting my junior year and going into my senior year of high school,” said Wilkerson in a recent SFA Athletics Gameday feature. “I didn’t have any looks to snap, it wasn’t existent and it wasn’t a thing in 2013. It really didn’t get big to start offering long snappers until 2014/2015. “I wanted to play football deep down,” Wilkerson added. “I knew if I was going to play, I wanted to play at the highest level possible. Coming out of high school I was 190 pounds, not 250 like I am now so I thought I would have a better shot being a Division I walk-on in tennis.”
Wilkerson knows it won’t be easy to be drafted. Only seven deep snappers have ben drafted in the past 18 NFL Drafts.
“First, you go find someone who has been through the process and figure out what the heck you are supposed to do,” Wilkerson. “I’ve had enough people tell me what steps I’ll take. Basically, I’ll go start training with an individual coach just to prepare my body and myself mentally and physically for pro day moving into the draft and NFL free agency.”
One way he will get real good exposure is through the upcoming East West Shrine Game in Tampa Bay. Wilkerson was officially invited to play in the game.
The Shrine game has been in existence for 94 years. It is a game that has NFL Scouts from all 32 teams. According to a letter Wilkerson posted on Twitter, last year more than 100 players from the game were invited to NFL training camps.
Away from the game, Wilkerson and others will be given training by NFL coaches as well as NFL legends Will Shields, Aeneas Williams, Mark Brunell and Willie McGinest. The players will also be working with Shriners Hospital and visiting pediatric patients.
The game is on January 19 at 3 pm ET and will be on the NFL Network.