Muhammad Wilkerson is in limbo, just like the other college players who were selected in April's NFL draft who have yet to sign a professional contract.

For Wilkerson, that means living at the family home in Linden, N.J., and working out regularly with a trainer.

With NFL players locked out, the former Temple defensive tackle is biding his time until he can report to the New York Jets, who chose him in the first round with the 30th overall pick.

If and when the NFL's issues are settled, Wilkerson will become a millionaire. But right now, he doesn't have anything coming in, and he doesn't even own a car.

"I'm in the process of getting my driver's license," said Wilkerson, who didn't need a car to navigate the campus at Temple.

The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Wilkerson, a two-time all-Mid-American Conference first-team selection, gave up his senior year to go pro. His decision was justified when the Jets jumped on him, although Wilkerson had heard enough from the NFL advisory committee to know that he had a good chance of going during the first round.

And he got to stay in his home state, not far from where he grew up.

"That could be the best situation for him," said Chad Wiestling, Wilkerson's Houston-based agent. "Not just because it's close to home, but because it's a championship-level team and a championship-level defense. He got to a championship-level team with veteran leadership. They were thrilled that he was available."

Wilkerson got to meet Jets coach Rex Ryan the day after the draft and was immediately impressed. During the recent, short court-ordered stay of the NFL lockout, Wilkerson was able to visit the Jets practice facility and talk with the staff again.

"He's a player's coach and pretty much everything you want in a coach," Wilkerson said of Ryan. "He told me to come in and work hard and learn from the veterans."

These days, Wilkerson is training hard under Joe Carini at the House of Iron in Pine Brook, N.J. He said he expects to join a group of Jets this week to go through some drills.

Recently, Wilkerson looked at an apartment in Livingston, N.J., where he may live when he starts getting paid by the Jets.

But an end to the NFL lockout is nowhere in sight.

The NFL's appeal of an injunction that would lift the lockout will be heard on Friday, but a decision may not come until mid-to-late July. Teams have already called off minicamps, and training camps may not start on time.

In addition, the NFL canceled its June 26 rookie symposium in Canton, Ohio, which became the first league event to be lost to the labor strife. The symposium brings together rookies for mandatory sessions in life skills and money management.

However, Wiestling said that the lockout has not so far affected how teams do business with rookie contracts.

"Players don't start getting signed until June 1, and the first-round picks usually sign in July," Wiestling said. "It's business as usual other than the players cannot train at team facilities."

Wiestling said that first-round NFL picks such as Wilkerson are considered good candidates for a bank loan or line of credit.

"Every year, the top players are sitting on a jackpot," Wiestling said.

Wilkerson said he has not availed himself to such assistance.

"I'm getting help from my parents," said Wilkerson, who comes from a stable background. He said he did not leave college purely for financial reasons.

Meanwhile, Wilkerson is taking advantage of the free time he has on his hands.

"It's no problem," he said. "It's something I needed. At this level, guys are talented and strong. And I need to be strong. When the lockout is over, I'm going to be in top shape."

Contact staff writer Kevin Tatum at 215-854-2583 or ktatum@phillynews.com.