In the Trenches with Wilbur Hooks, Jr.

Sept. 26, 2002

Senior wide receiver Wilbur Hooks, Jr. may not lead the Huskies inreceptions, 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'tbe too difficult. A talented singer, Hooks and some friends from hisAnchorage, Alaska, hometown formed an R&B group in high school, and rodethe wave of success to the big stage, eventually opening for Coolio at anAnchorage-area concert. That isn't to say that Hooks is a slouch on thefootball field -- fans will recall his game-winning TD reception at Coloradoin 2000, his acrobatic catch to preserve the Huskies' emotional scoringdrive in the final seconds against Stanford that same season, and hisequally-impressive 22-yard score against San Jose State in 2002. Let's justsay, though, that Hooks knows which of his talents is most likely to pay thebills after college, and he's excited to get back on stage. If you weren't playing football, what would you bedoing?
Wilbur Hooks: 'I would be singing. I would probably be in Las Vegaswith 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 gotthe opportunity to open for Coolio when he had some of his bigger songs outlike, 'Fantastic Voyage' and 'Gangsters Paradise.' We got to meet him and heis a really short guy! But he was really cool and it was a greatexperience.'

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

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

GH: Do you have a favorite football movie?
Hooks: 'I would have to say, 'Remember the Titans.' I like that moviebecause I really like how the team came together, even though that coach wascrazy making those kids go through three-a-days. There are a lot of goodmovies that are out there like, 'The Program,' but I am not one of thoseguys to get really riled up about the crazy things that happen in thosetypes of movies. I really like movies that show how teams come together; itreminds 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'swhy he was a first-round pick. I have had chances to go against the best.Quentin Jammer, Mike Rumph, Dennis Weathersby, Ricky Manning -- all thoseguys. The Pac-10 and the teams we play against is where it's at, they'regreat.'

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 alwayshave a thing for her. I mean, she is married to a guy named Will, and myname is Will.'

GH: If you could take Jada out somewhere in Seattle, where would itbe?
Hooks: 'It would have to be the Metropolitan Grill, though I wouldmake 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 fellasup 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 toloosen up my muscles before I take the field. If I don't do it, I feel stiffand 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 parentsup. 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 thebest-looking cars. I have always thought they were better looking than theFerrari. The Lamborghini is just a filthy-looking car.'

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