Meet Isaiah Wilson, the Titans' 350-pound rookie with a big personality

Spears can't figure out Vrabel's draft room, but he loves it (0:52)

Marcus Spears thinks Titans coach Mike Vrabel's NFL draft setup looks ridiculous, but is a huge fan of the execution. (0:52)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans GM Jon Robinson picked up the phone and placed what would be one of the most significant calls of offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson's life.

"Congratulations, big dog, you're about to be a Tennessee Titan," Robinson said to Wilson as a celebration broke out.

Wilson -- a 6-foot-6, 350-pound offensive tackle who played collegiately at Georgia -- fought through tears of joy and thanked Robinson for selecting him in the 2020 NFL draft’s first round.

"It was a very special moment for me," Wilson said during his first news conference with the Tennessee media. "My mom was crying. I was crying like a baby when I got that phone call."

Wilson and the Titans hit it off from his first encounter with coach Mike Vrabel during a meeting at the combine. Wilson joked about his initial "handshake and stare down" with Vrabel after walking into the room. Vrabel was immediately impressed with the sizable prospect who had to "turn sideways" to fit through the door.

"The only time it’s hard for me to fit into the world is when walking through the door," Wilson said. "I’ve been big my whole life, and I would say the only hard part is fitting through doors and shopping in stores."

Maybe it was Wilson's deep laugh that stood out to Vrabel as the lineman explained he didn't talk a lot of trash on the field but got a good laugh from pancaking defensive players. Robinson said Wilson's chuckle reminded him of Hall of Fame wrestler Andre the Giant.

Wilson has a big personality. He calls himself "Panda" and has a profile on Cameo that shows off that big laugh.

The big fella also has an affinity for SpongeBob SquarePants. And he likes to eat. His big meal before a game? He enjoys pasta with chicken Parmesan and bacon bits the night before games. Like a true big man, Wilson caps it off with a vanilla ice cream sundae with cookies and syrup -- all of which he says is three times a normal serving.

But don't be fooled -- behind his fun-loving persona is a mean streak that comes out when Wilson is on the football field. When asked at the combine what his favorite thing about football was, Wilson quickly pointed to being able to make another man quit in front of a lot of people.

"I think the best part of my game right now is that I am physical and I enjoy beating people up. I enjoy running the ball, I enjoy trying to essentially break another man’s will," Wilson said.

Wilson's journey to the NFL began in Brooklyn, New York, where he was a three-sport athlete at Poly Prep Country Day School. The tuition at Poly Prep ranged between $40,000 and $45,000 each year. Wilson got a scholarship, but it didn't cover all of the expenses. His father, Merrell, is an independent contractor in construction, while his mother, Sharese, is a registered nurse and executive for a long-term care program. They managed to fill in the financial gap where the scholarship fell short.

Wilson took full advantage of his time at Poly Prep, competing in lacrosse, wrestling and football. Each of the sports helped develop his athletic profile.

When it comes to wrestling, Wilson described himself as a mauler. He credits wrestling with teaching him how to control larger men. As for lacrosse, he pointed to going against shifty, change-of-direction guys as a means of learning how to move quickly laterally.

"It definitely transitions to football with keeping your hands inside, being efficient at the point of attack and being able to mirror your opponent," Wilson said.

"You could see that he had a background athletically for his size and with his kind of hand-to-hand combat skills where the wrestling transcended," Robinson said. "You could see where he was probably a pretty big player on the lacrosse field. I thought that that just showed his athleticism, the fact that he was able to do that."

Wilson was rated as the No. 2 overall recruit in the Class of 2017 by ESPN. He wanted to play college football for an SEC school because he always saw them playing in primetime games and competing for national championships. He told SiriusXM NFL Radio that he chose Georgia because he loved the family vibe when he visited there.

Wilson wanted to be a part of the culture being built by coach Kirby Smart, who was in his second season at Georgia at the time. Wilson connected with then-offensive line coach Sam Pittman, who is now the coach at Arkansas. Wilson was eager to show he belonged when he got to Georgia, but the southern heat is something he wasn't accustomed to, so he was redshirted as a freshman while he improved his conditioning and stamina.

Playing against top-level competition was a good measuring stick for Wilson. His success against players who would eventually play in the NFL made him realize he also was capable of taking it to the next level.

"Our sixth or seventh game [of 2019], I started getting into a groove," Wilson said. "I figured out where I like to punch my hands, and pass sets became more natural, and the game started slowing down for me.

"Then I'm thinking, 'If this [defensive player] is a first-rounder or that guy is a first-rounder, I'm doing well, too. Going against other talented people, highly touted guys, and holding my own or beating them in a matchup. Maybe [draft entry] is what I'm supposed to do.'"

Wilson could compete with Dennis Kelly to replace Jack Conklin, who left in free agency, at right tackle. Georgia's pro-style rushing attack has similarities to the Titans' running game. Understanding the concepts and required assignments of a zone scheme will help ease Wilson's transition to the NFL.

His big personality and affinity for using the rushing attack to break the opposition's will fits perfectly with what the Titans like to do. Wilson watched the Titans and saw how they rallied together to make a deep run in the playoffs. That same approach that drew him to Georgia is something Wilson looks forward to experiencing with the Titans.

"I'm just ready to embrace the family culture of being a Titan," Wilson said. "Ready to win."