His brother Lee - who is four years older - remembers those days well.
Wes routinely dodged swinging pool cues and punches. Retaliation was swift.
"He once busted an ashtray over my head," Lee said.
The battles carried over to the driveway, where the boys played Burnout until their hands hurt.
The game was simple. Whip a football as hard as you can at your brother. Drop it, you lose.
Sandlot games in Nichols Hills, the Oklahoma City neighborhood where they grew up, were just as intense. Still, Wes seemed to hold his own against Lee's bigger and stronger buddies.
"If anybody else touched him," Lee said, "I'd become the Terminator and go crack one of my friends in the head."
Wes got used to taking big hits. He embraced the contact. Used it as fuel even.
"I took quite a bit of abuse growing up," he said this week. "I definitely think it made me tougher."
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound receiver has always treated doubters like defensive backs, evading them at all costs.
"He's the greatest overachiever I've ever coached," said Texas Tech's Mike Leach, who has been coaching since 1987.
Nine games into this season, it's hard to disagree. Welker is third in the NFL in receptions (61), 10th in yards (651), sixth in receiving TDs (7) and ninth in punt returns (11.6-yard average).
"He's a guy that has the ability to expand on what he's asked to do," said Leach, who coached him from 2000-03. "He'll carve out a role."
The Patriots, impressed with the former undrafted free agent's past two seasons in Miami (96 catches, 1,121 yards), gave up a pair of draft picks, a second and seventh rounder, to acquire Welker last March.
"We had a hard time stopping him on returns, and we had a hard time stopping him on offense when he was in the slot," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said of Welker, who had nine catches for 77 yards in the Dolphins' 20-10 loss to New England on Oct. 8, 2006. "...We had a lot of trouble with him, so that's one of the reasons we traded for him."
Against New England on Oct. 10, 2004, the rookie became the first player in NFL history to kick a field goal, kick an extra-point, kick off, return a kick and return a punt in the same game.
"He's a bad swimmer," Leach joked, "but he's good at everything else."
Former Texas Tech running backs coach Art Briles dubbed Welker "The Natural" after watching the all-purpose player's high school highlight film.
"Oh, so you're The Natural's parents," Briles said to Leland and Shelley Welker during a recruiting trip.
"Yeah, we're the natural birth parents," Shelley, a nurse, responded.
"He said, 'No, no, no, he's The Natural," Welker recalled. "He kicks, he returns kicks, he does all this different stuff."
'It was always that way'
One afternoon when in the sixth grade, Welker decided to tag along to a friend's football practice.
A coach eventually noticed Welker, who was running sprints on the sideline, and asked why he wasn't in pads.
"My parents won't let me," Welker said.
"You think you can talk them out of it?" the coach asked.
"I don't know," Welker replied. "But I'm going to try."
Thus began his football career.
"He was so pumped," Leland Welker said. "There was no way I was going to say no."
Welker stood out in both football and soccer, which helped his development as a receiver.
"One of the things with soccer is that you're always thinking about the next thing," Lee Welker said. "You don't know always where you're going next. ... Wes plays fast. He doesn't have to think, it's just 'boom,' catch the ball, tuck it and turn up field."
At Oklahoma City's Heritage Hall, a K-12 school with an enrollment of about 850 students, Welker carved out a monster career. He rushed for 3,235 yards on 495 carries, caught 174 passes for 2,551 yards and kicked a 57-yard field goal to boot. He was named state player of the year by USA Today and The Oklahoman newspaper as senior, but no Division 1 schools came calling.
Apparently, Oklahoma's Division 2A was too soft to produce an impact player. And in big-time coaches' eyes, Welker's size mattered.
"Most coaches would say, 'Wow, that's another great play. Too bad he's only 5-9," Lee Welker said. "That was kind of his downfall."
Tulsa and Texas Tech brought him in for visits, but neither made him an offer.
If he couldn't play at the Division 1 level, Welker told his dad, he didn't want to play at all.
"We kept thinking something would just come along," Leland Welker said.
Thankfully, it did. A recruit had backed out of a commitment at Texas Tech, which freed up a scholarship for Welker. In the end, he said, it all worked out.
"But I remember at the time punching a few walls and saying, 'What's going on here?" Welker said. "What are these people looking at? What's the deal?'
"Just because I'm undersized, under this and under that, I've still been a good football player since I was little."
At Texas Tech, he made all his doubters pay. He was a three-time All-Big 12 first-teamer, racking up 259 receptions, 3,069 yards, 21 touchdown catches, 559 yards rushing on 79 carries, and 152 punt returns for 1,761 yards (an NCAA record) and eight scores.
His signature performance came on Nov. 16, 2002. The junior caught 14 passes for 169 yards and two scores to help the Red Raiders beat Texas, a team featuring Chris Simms, Roy Williams and Cedric Benson, 42-38.
"It's just one of those deals where Wes was out there making more plays than everybody on the field," said Lee Welker, who's now an assistant football coach at Heritage Hall. "It's always been that way."
'You don't get this far without a little bit of ability'
The doubters resurfaced in time for the 2004 NFL Draft.
"I knew I was going to get an opportunity in the NFL," Welker said. "I only had to wait 30 minutes after the draft to get a free-agent call.
He wasn't drafted, but San Diego scooped him up soon after the selection process ended.
He played a single regular season game for the Chargers before getting cut. Next, he landed in Miami, where he spent three-plus productive seasons.
Despite leading the team in receiving (67 catches, 687 yards) last fall, the Dolphins had no qualms trading him to a division rival.
"He had basically been making things work in Miami," Lee Welker said. "In actuality, Wes probably isn't the guy people wanted as their leading receiver. In Miami, he was (a leading receiver). People didn't like that, I don't think."
In March, Welker signed a five-year, $18.1 million contract with a $5.5 million signing bonus. The financial breakthrough didn't faze the fourth-year player.
"I have some ability too," said the 26-year-old Welker. "I mean, you don't get this far without a little ability."
As big as the little receiver is getting, he hasn't forgotten his roots.
Welker spent the bye week at home in Oklahoma City. He even attended a Heritage Hall football game.
"All the kids just mobbed him," said Leland Welker, who worked for Southwestern Bell before retiring. "He was signing autographs for half the game. He loved it."
Welker is loving life. After all, he spends Sundays catching Tom Brady's passes and watching Randy Moss burn up the turf.
Still, you get the feeling Welker would be just as happy tossing around a football with his big brother.
"We're just out there playing ball," Welker said, "looking to make plays all over the field."
Alan Siegel is a sports writer at the Eagle-Tribune. E-mail him at ASiegel@eagletribune.com.
Wes Welker, who played high school ball at Heritage Hall in Oklahoma City, had a tremendous schoolboy career.
n Rushed for 3,235 yards on 495 carries
n Scored 53 rushing touchdowns
n Caught 174 passes for 2,551 yards
n Caught 27 touchdown passes
n Intercepted 22 passes
n Returned seven punts for touchdowns
Welker listed as questionable
Patriots receiver Wes Welker (team decision) was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report for tonight's game along with linebacker Eric Alexander (knee), cornerback Eddie Jackson (knee), guard Stephen Neal (shoulder), linebacker Mike Vrabel (team decision) and safety Eugene Wilson (ankle).