Get to know Justin Wheeler

Aug. 18, 2008

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Justin Wheeler
Redshirt junior
Wide receiver
No. 80
6-1/178 lbs.
North Augusta, S.C. (North Augusta)
Major: sociology

Wheeler on football:

What's your favorite thing about playing wide receiver?

The best part about playing my position is catching the ball. Ever since I was young my brother always told me catch the ball with the hands. That's the way I try to catch it now. It's been like second nature to me. So, it fits me perfectly.

What do you bring to the field/your best asset?

I play hard every play, and I feel like I have a knack for making the big catch. So, I would say making the big catch.

Goals/expectations for the season?

Well, it's my first year starting... my goal is to get about 30 or 40 catches as a first-year starter. So, that would be my personal goal. For a team goal, I just want us to do well. I just want us to have a break out season, you know, experience that, and know that I contributed to getting us to a bowl. That's the most important thing... just getting to a bowl game and putting us on the map.

What game are you most looking forward to this season? Why?

Last year it was South Carolina, but this year I have to say Georgia. They're the No.1 team in the nation. My high school teammate, C.J. Bryd, starts at safety for them. So, I'm looking forward to that matchup.

You had a big catch against the Gamecocks last season. How big was that for you?

It was a really big catch, because when I go home people talk trash all the time. When you win you really don't have to say anything. Yeah, that was a big catch for me because that was my first touchdown. My whole family was there. All my friends were there, and they got to see that. So it was really good, really special.

I hear you're a great basketball player. Who's better you or your friend CJ Byrd (UGA strong safety)?

We've been playing together since our younger days, started playing in AAU together. We were on the same rec-league team. So, we've been playing against each other since elementary school, but we've been teammates since middle school.

Who's the better basketball player?


Who's the better football player?


What's it like having a friend on a rival team?

It's awesome. We joke around a little bit, but when it's all said and done we're both for each other. We support each other. It's just fun to experience this together.

What's it like competing in the SEC, in one of the toughest conferences?

Well, it's challenging. But with that said, I feel like the bigger the school that we play that just brings the best out of you. It's challenging. I'll say that, but it's very fun.

What's your favorite uniform combination?

This year I'll be looking forward to the all black. Last year was the white and gold, this year all black.

Off the field:

Have you had a favorite class at Vanderbilt?

My favorite I would say would have to be sociology: deviant behavior. I'm a sociology major and that interests me a lot, just learning about people, just learning the psychological aspect behind why people act certain ways.

Favorite NFL team: The Miami Dolphins. Why? I was raised that way. That's who my family likes, so that's who I've liked ever since I can remember football

Are they going to turn it around this year?

Oh yeah. We're going to turn it around this year baby. This is the year.

Favorite type of music/artist: I listen to it all - reggae, hip-hop, R & B. I listen to a little classic rock every now and then, but most of the time it's hip-hop. I'd probably say my favorite rapper is Ludacris.

Best summer blockbuster: I saw a couple. I saw "The Dark Knight." I saw "Wanted." I forgot the other movie I saw. It must not have been that good. I would say "The Dark Knight." "Wanted" was a little bit unrealistic when they tried to make it seem realistic. So, I say "The Dark Knight." The Joker was pretty good.

Best place to eat in Nashville: To me, I would say J. Alexander's. I always get the steak, and my girlfriend always gets the chicken pasta.

What's your favorite thing about Vanderbilt/Nashville: My favorite part is just being around my friends. I don't go out too often. I would just say hanging out with my friends.

What do you do in your free time: When I'm not playing football, I'm playing video games, taking a nap or just hanging out with friends. I like to relax.

Favorite hobby: I like bowling with my granddad and fishing and just playing board games with my father, that type of stuff, just doing stuff with my family. That's mostly what I do.



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