5 minutes with Anthony Wells

By Brian Belford

Anthony Wells didn’t see too much time on the football field last season.

Wells appeared in four games during NIU’s 11-3 run toward the MAC West championship in 2011.

This year, Wells bulked up, putting on 40 pounds during the offseason and found his niche on the defensive line as a full time starter.

Wells recently sat down with the Northern Star to dish on football, video games and what makes him tick.

Northern Star: You are now a full time starter for the defense this year. What would say about yourself to people who are unfamiliar with you?

Anthony Wells: I’m just a hard working person, trying to get better every single day. I’m just trying to help my team as much as possible to win and be productive.

NS: Has the added weight helped you defensively?

AW: Yes, it has definitely helped me on the field, and in getting the starting position. My teammates were my motivation. Every time I didn’t feel like eating, I would just think about them, and try to pack it all in for my team.

NS: You are from Chicago. Did you grow up a Cubs or a White Sox fan?

AW: The Sox; I grew up on the South Side of Chicago, so I was a Sox fan. I used to love to watch Frank Thomas play.

NS: What is it like for you coming to live in DeKalb, a rural community, after living in the city?

AW: I could go back to Chicago at any time, so I don’t miss it that much. I definitely like it better out here; I’m getting an education and living the dream, so I can’t complain right now.

NS: Did you always grow up wanting to play football?

AW: Yes, since I was five, I’d be in the back yard all the time with my brother, and we played two hand touch football. Just him and me. So its been my dream to play football since I was a youngster, even though I wasn’t always so big. Once I got to the age of nine, I really started to grow, but even then I was just tall, instead of big.

NS: What was it like making the transition from high school to college football?

AW: There’s nothing like playing with guys you grew up with. It’s a lot different from playing college football, but I’m loving this even more than high school. I love playing here, chilling with my teammates, going bowling, going to different events around campus.

NS: Are you a pretty good bowler?

AW: I’m ok. I bowl about a 95, but I can’t spin the ball at all. So maybe once I learn to do that my score will go up.

NS: What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

AW: That I’m a very nice person. People look at me, and they think that I’m this big mean football player, but I’m actually a very nice person.

NS: What is your major and what are some your post-college plans?

AW: I’m sociology major, and I want to be a police officer in Chicago if my football career doesn’t work out.

NS: Who was your favorite athlete growing up that you model your game or your work ethic after?

AW: Definitely Walter Payton. I didn’t really get to see him play growing up, but just watching film on him and hearing about what type of person he was, he is a great example of why I play the game, why we all play the game. Because of people like that who laid the groundwork for us.

NS: It says in your player bio that you enjoy playing video games. What kinds of video games do you like to play?

AW: I love to play sports games. NCAA college football, Madden, NBA2K; you name it. I got to run with my Bears in Madden.

NS: What is your favorite drill in practice?

AW: My favorite drill is one-on-ones. I like to get to the quarterback, so that’s one of my favorites. We also do the board drill, which is sort of like the Oklahoma Drill, and that one isn’t bad, either.

NS: What do coaches say to you when you mess up?

AW: That you have to be consistent. Correct the mistakes and get better.

NS: Do you think NIU will go on to win the MAC?

AW: We’re not really focused on that right now. We’re just taking it one game at a time, and we’ll worry about that when we have to.