Wilcox cements GSU legacy with Senior Bowl Invite

Photo by: Lindsay HartmannSenior saftey JJ Wilcox (19) returns the kickoff during App. State game.

Kevin Gregan

Senior safety JJ Wilcox will become the second football player to represent the Eagles in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 26, 2013.

The Senior Bowl will bring a collection of the country’s top seniors to Mobile, Ala. where the players will look to improve their NFL draft value.

“It’s just a blessing, I’m just glad to have a privilege to represent this university and this football team,” Wilcox said.

Wilcox will be the second Eagle to ever play in the Senior Bowl. Adrian Peterson, the Georgia Southern University career-rushing leader, represented for the Eagles in 2002.

“I’m really proud of JJ to be honored with an invitation to the Senior Bowl,” head coach Jeff Monken said. “I’m excited for him.”

“It’s a great showcase to be able to show off Georgia Southern to the nation,” Wilcox said in a Georgia Southern Athletics news release. “It’s a blessing. I was in the right spot at the right time. The coaches put me in a great position and it’s a blessing and a privilege just to be able to play.”

During his career here at GSU, Wilcox had a variety of roles. During his first three years, Wilcox was an offensive player. He achieved 964 career-rushing yards and scored 13 rushing touchdowns. He also has 898 career receiving yards and four touchdowns from the air.

In his senior campaign, Wilcox switched to defense and recorded the second highest total for tackles on the team with 79.  Wilcox also had an interception.

Wilcox made the switch after coach Monken asked him to switch to safety before the season started and he is glad he made the transition to defense, he said.

“It has been a challenge, but it seems to have paid off and I’m glad I could help my team,” Wilcox said.

Monken feels the switch to defense was good for JJ and his chances to be invited to the Senior Bowl, he said.

In addition to all of those accolades, Wilcox has been serving as the kick returner for the Eagles in 2012.  Wilcox had 27 returns, which netted 711 yards, and his average of 26.3 yards per return led the Southern Conference.

Monken said, “He runs those kickoffs just like he did as an offensive player. He’s aggressive and passionate about breaking tackles and trying to score every time he has the ball.”