When athletes are not on the field getting busy, they are in their gaming chairs getting racking up kills in Call of Duty and getting Ws in other games. So it should come as no surprise future NFL draft pick Garrett Wilson is a huge gamer in his spare time.
Ahead of Thursday’s (Apr.28) NFL Draft in Las Vegas, Hip-Hop Wired sat down virtually with the former Ohio State wide receiver before Roger Goodell calls his name and shakes his hand, welcoming him into the league.
We spoke about Wilson’s love for Call of Duty during our Zoom conversation. We learned just like New Orleans Pelicans hooper and fellow COD athlete Larry Nance Jr., Wilson has plenty of love for Call of Duty: Ghost. But, Wilson also revealed that Black Ops: II’s multiplayer is his jam, firmly cementing his adoration for the popular video game franchise.
We also touched on another video game franchise that Wilson will be a part of when he is drafted: Madden NFL. Step into the wide-ranging interview below and get to know the future NFL star who is projected by many analysts to be among the first ten players picked this year.
Hip-Hop Wired: You’re a big Call of Duty fan, right? I take it?
Garrett Wilson: Yes, sir.
HHW: So, what Call of Duty game lured you into the franchise?
GW: I actually started playing with Call of Duty: Ghosts is when I started really playing a lot. But kind of Black Ops II, I kind of first got introduced to playing multiplayer. I’ve always known what it was, but I’d say I really started playing a lot by seventh grade.
HHW: Nice. And you said Call of Duty: Black Ops is your favorite game, or is there another particular Call of Duty game?
GW: My favorite game of all time is Black Ops II.
HHW: Why is Black Ops II your favorite?
GW: Kind of like what I said. It was kind of when I first started playing, but [I] wasn’t really that good yet at the game. It was kind of just like I was a noob, I guess. And then, as I kept playing, I had got better. And that was the first game that really started clicking for me.
I actually started playing with Call of Duty: Ghosts is when I started really playing a lot. But kind of Black Ops II, I kind of first got introduced to playing multiplayer. I’ve always known what it was, but I’d say I really started playing a lot by seventh grade.
HHW: Now, do you consider yourself the best Call of Duty player during your time at Ohio State?
GW: Yeah. I guess I was aite. I wouldn’t say the best, though.
HHW: Who’s the best on the team?
GW: Ronnie “Rocket” Hickman [is] probably the best player on our team.
HHW: Sticking with video games, but shifting from Call of Duty. I’m sure you play sports video games too, correct?
GW: Yeah, I do.
HHW: So, being that you’re about to be drafted, that means you’ll be in Madden. What would you think your ranking would be in Madden?
GW: I feel like my overall in Madden is going to be a 76.
HHW: Oh, okay. That’s fair.
GW: Yeah, I want to keep it realistic. I feel like I’m going to be a 76 or a 75 in Madden.
HHW: Well, you know, based on how they do that nowadays, there’s always room for improvement as you perform during the season, your numbers can always go up. So, it’s a great starting point. Now, still sticking with cyber-sports, who do you consider the greatest cyber-athlete as far as video games are concerned?
GW: Damn. Yeah, best player to use in the game is definitely someone that’s fast and tall, so even a player like Chris Westry on the [Baltimore] Ravens.
HHW: Okay. That’s an interesting answer. Now, how excited are you for the NFL draft? Talk about that.
GW: I’m really excited. I’ve been out here in Vegas, just seeing everything getting built up, and them getting ready to have the event go on here. It’s going to be really special. I’m going to have my whole family up here, so I’m excited.
HHW: Nice. You know, it’s been a tough two years, and to have this in person again, I’m sure it’s very exciting. Not virtual. I’m pretty sure the energy is much different this time around, so good for you, man. I’m happy for you when it comes to that. Now, it doesn’t go this way, but hypothetically speaking, as a kid growing up if you had to pick a team to play for, who would be the team you wanted to suit up for?
GW: I really don’t have one anymore. Growing up, I liked Michael Vick a whole lot, so I liked the Eagles growing up. I just watch ball now. It’s kind of just watching.
HHW: That’s true. Hey, that’s understandable, man. Now, let’s say if you didn’t make it as a professional athlete, would you have thought about going the route of a professional E-sports player, like taking video games more seriously now that people seem to look at video games in a different light now, being that you can actually make a living doing this, and playing games if you’re good at it. Would you actually consider that ever?
GW: Yeah, definitely. It’s something I even considered being an [E-sports] athlete, still playing to make a little bit more income on some days. Kind of like passive income, because I play the game regardless, so setting up a camera while I do it, that’s kind of something I want to do now. So, I definitely would have thought about it for sure, and I’m probably going to tap in and really lock in on it.
HHW: Now, I don’t know how much of Vanguard you have played, but if you have played it, what’s something you feel that Call of Duty needs more of to take the franchise to another level. What do you feel is missing? Do you feel it’s missing anything? Do you feel it could be a little bit better?
GW: For me, Vanguard, I just died too fast on Vanguard. All the best Call of Duty games I can think of, I feel like they give you a chance to react to someone shooting you. You know what I mean? They make that person hit a consistent shot, but in Vanguard, sometimes, some of the guns will just put you down, like, boom. No time to react because the time to kill is just really fast. So, that’s the one thing I’ll say about Vanguard that just makes it hard for me to play because it’s hard to get a streak because you have someone behind you, and you going to die. And it’s hard to get a two-piece because you just die so fast. That’s one thing I’ll say.
HHW: Yeah. It is kind of hard to get those perks up. But I’m old. I can’t keep up with the youngins anymore. My hand-eye coordination is pretty off. I can’t really compete with these kids in Call of Duty anymore.
GW: I know. Oh, God. I know what you mean. Some of these people, yeah, they got it.
HHW: Yeah. I’ll try for a good 15-20 minutes then I’ll look at my kill to death ratio. It’d be, like, really bad. I like, “I can’t play this anymore, man.” You know?
GW: I know. I know how you feel. I know how you feel.
HHW: Just give me a good campaign, and I’m straight. Sticking with the campaign. What’s your favorite Call of Duty moment? Like, that moment during the campaign when you’re like, “Oh, snap! This is fire. This moment was amazing”?
GW: Yeah. I don’t really play campaigns on games. I don’t know. I’ve always been a multiplayer guy, so I don’t know. Yeah, that’s hard for me. I mean, I remember playing my brother’s game. He had the Modern Warfare II, and it was a snowmobile map. I remember doing that. But yeah. I never really played campaign since I’ve had my own game. I don’t know.
HHW: So, being that you’re big into multiplayer, do you also play battle royale?
GW: Yeah. I love battle royale. I play Warzone a whole lot.
HHW: That’s another one that I can’t really get into because, again, I’m not that good at it. What tips would you have for someone who’s not good at battle royale?
GW: Yeah. I mean, the thing with those games, it’s just, that the only way to really get good at it is play. Those people that you see that’s good, that’s killing you when you’re playing battle royale, they on the game all the time. So, the hardest thing … I would say if you don’t got the time for it, it’s hard to get a lot better at a video game because you just got to put in those reps. Kind of like basketball, you know? If you’re not playing, you’re losing it.
And it’s hard with video games. It’s hard to be like, “Do this,” you know? Because it’s just hard. I’ve watched so many YouTube videos trying to be like, “How do I get better?” And it don’t really work because they just nicer at the game than me. It’s crazy.
HHW: Trust me. I’m right in that boat. I be looking at YouTube videos too. I be like, “Yeah. This isn’t working for me.”
GW: Exactly, exactly.
HHW: And finally, the most important question, what’s your favorite console right now? Is it PS5, Xbox Series X, or PC? What do you game on primarily?
GW: I’m really both. I can’t say I have a preference. I really play both. It just depends on the game I play and what friends are online. So, I got both right now.
HHW: That’s a great answer because I got both too, so I definitely understand.
GW: Yeah, so you know how it is.
HHW: It’s always good to have options.
GW: I agree.
You can catch Garrett Wilson and the other future NFL stars getting their names called during the NFL Draft in Las Vegas on Thursday (Apr.28) on ESPN at 8 pm ET.
Photos: Getty Images