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Nov. 16, 2003

By Brandon Holtz, USC Sports Information

Rodriques Wilson received the Team Attitude Award for defense during spring practice, 2003. For Wilson, attitude is more than just being vocal.

“Most of the time it is how I carry myself and the character I have,” said the Cross, S.C., native. “I love the game of football and I try to show everybody I love the game by getting fired up and help make it enthusiastic for the team.”

Having a great attitude was not something the redshirt junior just developed during his first three seasons at USC.

“My parents always taught me to have a good attitude,” stated Wilson. “You’re going to go through tough times and everything is not always going to go your way. If you try to keep a good attitude, things have a way of working out for you.”

Wilson is currently playing his third position at USC. He came to South Carolina as a highly rated quarterback, and was moved to wide receiver at the end of the 2001 spring practice. In 2002, Wilson switched to the opposite side of the ball where he now plays safety.

“I feel good at safety,” said Wilson. “I’m trying to learn more about the position and do what I can to help the team win.”

Wilson does not seem to miss the spotlight that comes with being a quarterback in an SEC football program.

“Both positions give you a chance to make plays,” stated Wilson. “When you make an interception or a big hit, the fans respond. The chance of making a big defensive play or picking somebody off is something I have grown to like.”

After wearing No. 10 his first three years at USC, Wilson switched to No. 11 before the season began. Many of the Gamecock faithful still think of Rashad Faison when they see the No. 11 jersey of the Garnet and Black. Although Faison is someone Wilson looks up to, he had another reason for the change in numbers.

“I switched over to No. 11 because that is the only number I have ever had,” said Wilson. “When I started organized football I wore No. 11. It is something that feels good and is comfortable for me.”

Not only did Wilson take Faison’s number, he also took parts of his game.

“I really looked up to Rashad and his ability, size and the emotions he had for football,” said Wilson. “When you watched him on the field last year he always had emotion for the game and he loved the game of football. He had a big heart and was a hard hitter. Now, I’m trying to make a name for myself and hopefully by the time my career ends here, I will have done that.”

Wilson has never been one to back down from a challenge and that played a part in his decision to attend USC.

“I felt it was a great challenge for me to go to South Carolina and I love challenges,” said Wilson. “Since I’ve been here, the different teams we play and the changing of positions have been a challenge, but they make you a better person.”

Wilson is unsure what his future holds after his days at Carolina are over.

“I came here to get a degree and that is the first thing I want to do,” said the Retail Management major. “Whether football works out for me or not, I will have a degree on my wall and I can work from there.”

With his positive attitude and college degree in hand, there is not much Rodriques Wilson will not be able to accomplish.