Great Read: Virginian-Pilot Profile of Russell Wilson

Sometimes it is dangerous to call an active college player a lock-in for legend status, but in the case of Russell Wilson, it’s an easy call.  Wilson is exactly what a college student-athlete should be: an accomplished and successful college student who’s earned a degree and a talented and successful athlete on the field as well.

Wilson is also an upbeat, positive person that uplifts everyone around him — from his fellow students in the classroom to the players on the team that he leads.  In a time when it is an iffy proposition for a child to say that they would like to be just like their favorite athlete, if a young NC State fan told his parents that he or she would like to be just like Russell Wilson, they are undoubtedly pleased immeasurably.

Wilson was recently profiled in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot, and it’s a great read about what a great person Russell Wilson really is:

Wilson, Myers said, does not like to hear the word “no” or be told that he can’t do something. Coach Tom O’Brien said he’s never encountered such a positive person.

Wilson wants it all. And so far, he’s been able to get it.

“I’ve always tried to get the most out of my life and the most out of the opportunities that are going to come up for me, and I’ve done that so far,” he said.

A product of The Collegiate School in Richmond, Wilson comes by his well-roundedness naturally. His father, the late Harrison B. Wilson III, played baseball and football at Dartmouth. After nearly making the San Diego Chargers as a free agent, he earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. He died after a long illness in June, the day after his son was selected in the Major League Baseball Draft.

“It’s a blessing that he’s in a better place now,” Wilson said.

It is amazing how many schools passed on offering Wilson a scholarship: UVA went with another higher-rated QB, who subsequently washed out of then-head coach Al Groh’s program, and John Bunting of UNC passed on Wilson in favor of big-talking Mike Paulus, who also washed out of the UNC program.  Ultimately, former Wolfpack head coach Chuck Amato saw Wilson’s skills and personalities, and convinced him to come to NC State. Amato once said that in Wilson he didn’t see stars — as in recruiting service stars — but instead, a star.  Good call, coach, because that’s exactly what Wilson is.

Amato’s recruitment of Wilson was ultimately Tom O’Brien’s and the Wolfpack’s blessing, and Wilson has not only become an effective QB, he has also drawn comparisons to NC State alum and NFL star Philip Rivers.  On the surface those comparisons might seem silly: Wilson is smaller, more mobile and doesn’t have the same sort of howitzer throwing arm as Rivers, but on the other hand, both have shown that they are great leaders, very effective passers and also winners in difficult times for their programs.

In short, it’s not at all hard to see Wilson’s name one day becoming a permanent part of Carter-Finley Stadium, aside Rivers on the Ring of Honor.

Post-Script: There have been some fantastic features on Russell over the last few years. You can click here for our Tag archive for Wilson and surf to others that would be of interest.

'10 Football

21 Responses to Great Read: Virginian-Pilot Profile of Russell Wilson

  1. LRM 10/13/2010 at 1:01 PM #

    The two greatest QBs in State history came here because no one else wanted them.

  2. Alpha Wolf 10/13/2010 at 1:06 PM #

    ^ Don’t forget Roman Gabriel.

  3. gso packbacker 10/13/2010 at 1:12 PM #

    Not sure if Russell is better than Roman Gabriel , but an interesting comment about two players of such caliber not being wanted as QBs elsewhere. Glad we could have them!

  4. RegularExpression 10/13/2010 at 1:30 PM #

    Mike O’Cain left Chuck with the gift of Philip Rivers. Chuck payed it forward by leaving TOB Russell Wilson. Who will TOB leave to our next coach?

  5. YogiNC 10/13/2010 at 1:34 PM #

    When I think RW the primary word that comes to my mind is Character with a capitol C. Yes, he’s a great athlete, but what defines him as an athlete is what defines him as a person. Many who play the games we love to watch are blessed with great physical attributes or talents. RW is who he is through an incredible work ethic borne out of his upbringing. State has had some great athletes, and some great people who were also athletes, but the rare ones are the great people who are great athletes. Rivers was one of these also. Should #16 go up on the wall? Yes, but not just because of the athlete but because of the person.

  6. packplantpath 10/13/2010 at 1:59 PM #

    “Who will TOB leave to our next coach?”

    Lets hope it’s not Glennon 🙂

  7. NCSU88 10/13/2010 at 2:13 PM #

    +1 for YogiNC

  8. wufpup76 10/13/2010 at 2:29 PM #



    We are so blessed to have Russell Wilson here.

  9. Redwolf2450 10/13/2010 at 2:36 PM #

    Well said YogiNC! Very well said!

  10. baxter 10/13/2010 at 2:41 PM #

    Here’s to hoping he says screw baseball and comes back next year.

  11. StateFans 10/13/2010 at 3:02 PM #

    Couldn’t agree more with Yogi. RW is on his way to having his name & number honored.

  12. wolfbuff 10/13/2010 at 3:08 PM #

    The first time I met RW at a Meet the Pack Day was the year before his All-ACC R-FR season. I was so impressed with him; he was very polite and you could tell he was raised right. I forgot he was a football player and wanted to just engage in conversation with him about classes and life in general. I could tell then he was one of those guys you just wanted to know. Whether he comes back next year or not, he has represented himself, the team, and the University well. And he’ll remain one of my all-time favorites no matter how many games he ends up leading the Pack to victory.

  13. UnclePen 10/13/2010 at 3:48 PM #

    He could improve his chances of being on the wall by staying another year!

  14. coach13 10/13/2010 at 5:13 PM #

    Wilson…the polar opposite of the riff raff causing all the trouble for UNC. It’s funny I was listening to some spotlight on Asa Watson, a Chrisitan Athlete and another Wolfie with great character. Not every school is doing what they are doing at UNC. I fully believe if you don’t have integrity and good morals and ethics, you will not last in Tom O’Brien’s program, regardless of how tallented you are on the field.

    Great piece on Wilson.

  15. bradleyb123 10/13/2010 at 5:34 PM #

    You can tell the integrity in the way they conduct themselves on the field. Carolinx’s players love to taunt, get in your face, and run their mouths after a successful play. You just don’t see that from State players. Our guys celebrate good plays, but rarely (never?) do we see them taunting other players.

    In the Clemson game, it was the play immediately preceding Clemson’s 50+ yard touchdown pass. A Carolinx player really planted the Clemson ball-carrier good. Another Carolinx player came over, stood over the Clemson player, and was jawing at him. It was almost identical to the Greg Little taunting of the injured State player from our game with the Holes last year. You could tell it was not nice words coming out of his mouth.

    I thought, will these clowns EVER give it a rest?

    Obviously, NO ONE on the team cares one iota of improving their image.

    This team has Butch Davis’ fingerprints all over it. Frankly, I’m surprised the Carolinx elites put up with it. I think it’s an illustration of just how far they’ve gone to sell their souls to have a good football team.

  16. highstick 10/13/2010 at 6:16 PM #

    I’m in agreement on Wilson as “the person”, “the student”, and “the athlete”..But I’m not into calling him an athletic legend based on his performance…Granted he’s probably been pulled down with the lack of a supporting cast, but I’m not buying legendary status..

    Is he worthly to go on a wall? Probably, but the legendary status..I just don’t see it yet…

    He’s a heckuva representative from NCSU though and I’m darned glad he’s been around for the past 4!

  17. runwiththepack 10/13/2010 at 6:49 PM #

    RegularExpression Says:
    Mike O’Cain left Chuck with the gift of Philip Rivers. Chuck payed it forward by leaving TOB Russell Wilson. Who will TOB leave to our next coach?

    Whoever he is, I hope he’s still in the peewee leagues today. I’m very weary of the coaching carousel here.

    Dick Sheridan is the last coach NCSU hired that didn’t get fired. Two others before him got fired. Coaching is a very tough business if you don’t have enough guys like Russell Wilson coming in steadily. Sheridan was very similar to TOB, it seems to me, and I wish he had stuck around long enough to hand the reins to someone like TOB. It was OUR loss when he left.

    Thanks for recognizing RW’s talents, Chuck. Really sorry about how things ended for you here. You’re still one of us. I’d feel bad to know you don’t feel the same way. I know you worked your tail off for us.

    I still wish the best for Chuck Amato.

    Wilson may well be a coach some day. Here? or NFL? Or – a successful businessman investing the fortunes he makes in the pros? We won’t forget RW, and I hope he doesn’t forget us.

    Uh-oh, i’m getting mushy. I had better stop with it.

    Thank you, Virginia Pilot! The Heisman still isn’t totally out of the question for a qb that takes a 5-7 team and turns it into a ?-? team.

  18. 87stategrad 10/13/2010 at 7:46 PM #

    At the ACC Baseball Tournament, Russell went out of his way to hand my 10 year old daughter a foul ball that had been hit toward the dugout. He instantly became her favorite player, and now when she yells at Carter Finley, she is sure that he can hear her. He is definately a role model in several different ways.

  19. WolftownVA81 10/13/2010 at 10:04 PM #

    A class guy all the way. Thanks Russell for making all of us proud.

  20. 61Packer 10/13/2010 at 10:50 PM #

    No knock on Russell Wilson, but the two best QBs ever to suit up for the Wolfpack were Roman Gabriel and Philip Rivers.

  21. HPWolf 10/14/2010 at 10:33 AM #

    Wilson will go down as one of the best in State history as well as ACC statistacal history and I will hate to see him go but don’t worry too much. Glennon is a pro player in waiting and with the line TOB is developing we are in great shape. Glennon may be the best pure drop back passer with the strongest arm we have ever had. Bank on it.

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