Photo by Jim Blaylock
Evans High School football coach Lee Chomskis refers to C.J. Wiltz as a "gentle giant."
Wiltz admits he has an easy-going nature. He enjoys watching comedy shows on TV, and if the mood strikes, he doesn't mind breaking into an impromptu dance routine to lighten things up in the Evans locker room.
But when the 6-foot-1, 275-pound player hits the gridiron for the Knights, it's no more Mr. Nice Guy.
"When you step out on the football field you've got to be mean," he says. "Everyone is serious and ready to go. If you play hard, you can beat anybody."
Wiltz is a standout performer on both sides of the football. At tight end, he blasts holes for the running backs, but he does most of his damage at defensive tackle.
"The truth be known, he likes defense much better. He's been one of our best pass rushers and run stoppers this season," Chomskis said. "He's just kept improving throughout the year. He has a chance to be one of the best players in the CSRA as a senior."
Wiltz has always had ample size, but didn't start playing football until his seventh-grade year at Evans Middle School. He says basketball is his favorite sport, but football is growing on him.
"I was going to stick to basketball in high school, but last year I started getting a lot better at football."
Now, as a junior, Wiltz is a whole lot better. Good enough, in fact, to possibly break into the college ranks someday.
"It's been a real good year for me," he says. "That just comes from hard work and dedication in the weight room, just getting ready to play and do my job."
Heading into the final game of 2002, he has amassed 80 tackles. Although his game-high this season is 11 tackles, he isn't ruling out the possibility of recording 20 this Friday night against Douglass High School.
If Wiltz achieves that goal and reaches the magic mark of 100 tackles, don't expect the Gentle Giant to do cartwheels.
"I don't really celebrate much," he says. "I just do my job."
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