Northern Illinois beat writer Jeremy Werner caught up with Huskies junior safety Tracy Wilson to talk about everything from his eyesight to quarterbacking to his favorite DeKalb-area eatery.
Jeremy Werner: Tracy, I heard you had some trouble with your contact lenses during Saturday’s game with North Dakota. Fill me in.
Tracy Wilson: “On one of the plays, they had a run going down the field, and I had come off the block and tackled the running back. He kind of brought it to me a little bit. My contacts usually come out during the game, maybe like once or twice. This was the first time my contacts came out this game, so I was like, ‘Really, it’s no big deal.’ But I forgot to bring more contacts after I used all my pairs against Iowa State. So pretty much the last three quarters, I was playing with no contacts.”
Werner: So, what exactly could you see and what couldn’t you see?
Wilson: “When I’m out there, you know how close I am to the linebackers, I can’t see their jersey number. I can’t really see the jersey number on the linebackers. I can see like what routes (the other team is) running. I couldn’t really see the call from the sidelines but it’s just blurry. It’s just really blurry.”
Werner: Wow! And you still finished with 13 tackles. So did you let the coaches know about your contacts problem?
Wilson: “It wasn’t really a big deal. It’s nothing you're going to come out for. I knew I had no more contacts, so there was nothing I can do. You just got to really focus in.”
Werner: Who’s your biggest fan?
Wilson: “I would have to say my mom. She cheers loudest for me. She makes sure she’s at every game, road games, home games, since I was little.”
Werner: Do you have any pregame rituals?
Wilson: “Not really. I like to come on the field, get a little stretch, get a little run in before the game, listen to music.”
Werner: What are you listening to before a game?
Wilson: “Right now, I don’t know, it’s kind of a mix of all. It’s from Jay-Z to Rick Ross to Lil Wayne to Gucci (Mane). It’s just a whole bunch.”
Werner: What’s your favorite meal in the DeKalb area?
Wilson: “I haven’t really been to too many places in DeKalb, and I don’t really know if this qualifies as DeKalb, it might be Sycamore. But I’d have to say Johnny’s (Charhouse), and I would grab their ribs, because the ribs are on point at Johnny’s. They just slide off the bone, man. The meat just slides off the bone.”
Werner: You played quarterback in high school, do you miss it at all?
Wilson: “I don’t miss quarterback because I played safety too in high school. I like the defense side way more than the offensive side.”
Werner: I know you were a pretty good quarterback. The Northwest Indiana Times named you their Offensive Player of the Year in 2006 after throwing for 1,825 yards and 25 touchdowns and running for 1,575 yards and 19 touchdowns. Do you think you could do well in the NIU offense?
Wilson: “I don’t want to take anything away from our quarterbacks, but I think I could play well in this system. I mean, hopefully you want to always say you can play in the system. You don’t want to say you can’t. I think I would have a good enough arm. Well, I had a good enough arm. I haven’t really been throwing the ball like that.”