The 6’2″, 230 lb Wilson played in 41 games over five seasons at the University of South Carolina.
He finished his career as an all-SEC linebacker after playing safety as a sophomore and junior.
In six seasons in the NFL, five coming with the Bears, Wilson has appeared in 51 games. He made 47 tackles and forced one fumble in that span.
Wilson missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury he suffered during a pre-season game. In 2008, he was waived/injured. The following off-season he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but was lost for the season during a Week Nine game.
The Bears brought him back last season and he appeared in 15 games, playing steady on special teams.
It remains to be seen what the Bears do at the linebacker position this off-season. With only two linebackers signed to the roster for next season, Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, Wilson could sign back and serve as a solid reserve linebacker.
I had the chance to catch up with Rod this weekend and I asked him about the annoying NFL lockout, what he likes about the city of Chicago so much, and how he got into social networks like Twitter.
Q: How tough has the lockout been on you? How often have you been training and conditioning?
A: The lockout as been pretty tough on my family and I. Not being able to negotiate with teams for a new deal and also not knowing what is going to happen. I’ve been training 4-5 times a week at this facility called EFT in Highland Park IL. It’s been going really well.
Q: Have you gotten together with any players this off-season to train? Who has stayed in contact with you?
A: At the facility I’ve been training at, there are about seven Bears players and about five other guys from around the league that it train with. There’s been about five guys that I’ve stayed in contact with during the lockout.
Q: Who was your favorite player growing up? Or did you just have a favorite team?
A: My favorite player growing up was Jerry Rice.
Q: Do you stay informed on what’s going on or do you usually wait until something big happens?
A: Our player Rep Robbie Gould has done a awesome job keeping us informed on what is going on with the lockout along with Rashied Davis and Hunter Hillenmeyer.
Q: What is your most favorite and least favorite part of football?
A: My favorite part of football is playing in front of the fans, going to battle with my teammates, and just the love of the game. My least favorite part would have to be training camp lol.
Q: What is your most memorable moment in football? What level did it occur in?
A: My most memorable moment in football would have to be when we won the NFC Championship.
Q: What’s a fact that maybe some people don’t know about you?
A: That I played 5 different positions in college.
Q: What’s different about Chicago compared to the other teams you played for?
A: I would have to say the fans, the city, and my teammates.
Q: Who are your closest friends on the team or around the NFL?
A: I would have to say Brandon McGowan, Nathan Vasher, Nick Roach, Lance Laury, and Jonathan Goodwin. But I do get along with all my Bears teammates and my old teammates in Tampa.
Q: How does Lovie Smith run practices? Is he that quiet guy that the media claims he is?
A: Coach Smith really takes care of his players during practice. He is a very calm guy. Some coaches yell and scream, but he doesn’t have to do that to get his point across to us.
Q: If you weren’t a professional football player, what profession do you think you’d be in?
A: I think I would be back home running my fathers 32 year old company.
Q: Favorite movie?
A: Harlem Nights
Q: Favorite food/meal?
A: Pig tails and Rutabagas.
Q: What do you plan on doing when your career is over? What do you hope to get out of the NFL?
A: I’m planning on going back and taking over my father’s business. Hopefully when I leave this game I leave with lifelong friendships, become a better man, along with better leadership qualities.
Q: You’re pretty active on Twitter, do you enjoy social networks?
A: I joined twitter to open up myself to fans. To allow them to get to know me a little better.
Q: Who do you thank for getting to this point?
A: First I thank God. My parents have been such great supporters and role models. I thank my three brothers for all the love and support they’ve shown to me. I thank my wife because before she was my wife she was my best friend that gave me so much support. My agent David Canter who is not just my agent, but one of my best friends. Also the Chicago Bears, they gave me my chance in the NFL by drafting me in 2005.
Thanks for your time, hope to see you in the blue and orange this season.