Even though his name wasn’t called during the NFL Draft in 2001, as a free agent, Daniel Wilcox would prove he had the talent to play professional football.
Signing with the New York Jets out of Appalachian State, the tight end would go on to play two seasons with Tampa Bay and five with Baltimore. With one season in NFL Europe with the Rhein Fire thrown in for good measure.
“I stayed around longer than most people in my draft class,” Wilcox said.
When an undrafted free agent coming from a small school like Appalachian State, that at the time was a lot smaller than what it is now, it just made the statement that we can really go out here and play no matter where you’re from, no matter where you went to school.
Money Making Hands On & Off the Field
While playing, Wilcox, who caught 76 passes for 576 yards and eight touchdowns during his NFL career, invested in residential properties as a second income. After retiring in 2009, it became his primary focus. And much like with football, he proved to have another talent and founded Wilcox Custom Homes in Atlanta, GA.
“Since I was a kid I’ve always been into architecture and the way buildings were built. I see a lot of different shapes all the time, and I kind of played football that way. I was more of a geometry-type kid,” Wilcox said.
“So when I retired, I started renovating my properties and the guys that I was doing the renovations with, they had been in this business for a long time and started telling me, ‘Some of the stuff you’re doing, we’ve never done before. You’ve got a talent we’ve never seen. You should really think about starting your own company.’ And that’s what got me started.”
One Transition to Another
After the company grew faster than expected, Wilcox was admittedly overwhelmed and chose to step away from the business. He then turned to coaching football at the high school and college levels and also trained players for the NFL Combine.
But four years ago, Wilcox took a step back in his past and returned to the construction business.
“Getting back into the home business was kind of like a default thing. The market had changed in Atlanta drastically and I saw how the city was changing,” Wilcox said. “I got with a couple of buddies of mine and asked them if they would invest in a house and trust me to do the renovations. They did, and we bought the house together.”
“That allowed me to get my company started back up again. What I learned the first time in this business is that you’ve got to be flexible. The guys that I work with are all subcontractors. Sometimes I hold on to them for a while. Sometimes I get rid of them. Depends on the quality of work they’re doing. But every job is different.”
Besides flipping houses and renovations, including remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, Wilcox also manages some Airbnb properties. But it’s what he does with a pencil and paper that he enjoys the most.
What the Pencil Means to Wilcox
“The design part of it is what keeps me happy. It’s the only thing that kind of soothes my mind,” Wilcox said. “People could stay in their houses for 20, 30 years and it’s been the same way for 20, 30 years. And so when they hire me to come in, I get a chance to pick my pencil up and draw things.
“I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. I used to win all the art contests in elementary and middle and high school. I had an art scholarship when I was coming out and I decided to go play football. And so I definitely think the pencil has always been a God-given talent and a blessing for me. It kind of takes me somewhere else, puts me in another place.”
Daniel Wilcox is a 8 year NFL veteran Super Bowl champ, former Baltimore Raven, Tampa Bay Buccaneer, & New York Jet, Husband, Father, and Coach.
Share this article
Our social media accounts are a great way to stay engaged with our community. We welcome your feedback on our programs and services!