Russell Wilson is currently one of the best feel good stories in the NFL. He is an intellectual quarterback who was underestimated his entire life because he lacks elite size of the position. There are stories of Wilson all the way back to high school of his ability to be a successful NFL quarterback most notably, upon meeting him as the offensive coordinator of NC State, Bears Head Coach Marc Trestman said Russell Wilson would be drafted in the fourth round when Wilson was a Junior attending one of NC State’s summer camps. Wilson was drafted in the 41st round of the draft coming out of high school by the Baltimore Orioles. Wilson would go on to attend NC State and started 11 games his redshirt freshman season and be named the ACC Rookie of the Year in football and became the first freshman quarterback to receive first team All-ACC honors. In 2009, Wilson broke Andre Woodson’s all-time NCAA record of 325 consecutive pass attempts without an interception. Russell Wilson would graduate from NC State after just three years but would not receive an invite to the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine.
Wilson would also play collegiate baseball for three seasons at NC State before being selected in the fourth round of the MLB draft by the Colorado Rockies. Wilson would begin to play in the Rockies minor league system in the summers of 2010 and 2011 batting just .229 over 93 games. His focus on playing baseball would upset Tom O’Brien and cause a rift with his quarterback. Wilson would later be released from his scholarship at NC State with one year of eligibility remaining, many teams wanted Wilson to come in for a season but Wilson chose the Wisconsin Badgers. At Wisconsin, Wilson set the FBS record for passing efficiency with a 191.8 passer rating by throwing 33 touchdowns to just four interceptions. In January 2012, he informed the Rockies of his intent to focus on football and pursue a career in the NFL.
Wilson would play in the 2012 Senior Bowl and complete four of his 7 pass attempts for 45 yards and threw a touchdown to Marvin Jones. Wilson would attend the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine and perform well. He measured just 5’11” and 203 pounds though which was under even what some scouts expect, 6 feet even. When scouts are analyzing the physical attributes of a quarterback they are looking for three things, accuracy, arm strength, and mobility. From a mental perspective scouts are looking for leadership, toughness, work ethic, and decision-making. Wilson would rank highly in all of these categories but his lack of prototypical size for the position caused him to fall to the third round where the Seahawks would select him with the 12th pick. Many scouts would say that if Wilson were 6’3” or taller he would be picked in the top ten.
Wilson signed with the Seahawks for four seasons and 2.99 million dollars and Pete Carroll would run an open competition between the newly drafted Wilson, newly acquired Matt Flynn, and incumbent Tarvaris Jackson. Wilson would be crowned the starter at the end of August and would start all 16 games during his rookie season. Wilson would set the rookie record for passer rating for a quarter with 100.0 and tie Peyton Manning’s record for passing touchdowns in a rookie season with 26. Wilson would also lead the Seahawks into the playoffs as a wild card seed win his first playoff game against the Washington Redskins before losing to the Atlanta Falcons in the next round. In 2013 Wilson would lead the Seahawks to the number one seed in the playoffs upon setting the record for the most wins by a quarterback in his first two seasons with 24 and winning his first 14 career home games.
The 2014 playoffs began with a bye week for the Seahawks as they held the number one seed going into the NFC playoffs. The Seahawks would face the Saints in the divisional round of the playoffs, the Seahawk defense would dominate the game and Marshawn Lynch would go beast mode against the Saints defense while Russell Wilson was asked to just manage the game at home. On the day, Wilson completed just 9 of 18 passes for 103 yards and no touchdowns, he also added just 16 yards on the ground. The Seahawks would get the victory against the Saints and advance to the conference championship against the rival 49ers. Wilson and the offense was asked to do more in this game and he stepped up to the challenge completing 16 of 25 pass attempts for 215 yards and a score to Jermaine Kearse in the fourth quarter to get the lead for the Seahawks for the first time all game.
The Seahawks would end up defeating the 49ers 23-17 after a late interception of Colin Kaepernick to seal the game and pave the road to the Superbowl for the Seahawks. While Wilson had been steady in the playoffs he really shined in the Superbowl, completing 18 of his 25 pass attempts for 206 yards and two touchdown passes with no interceptions. Wilson also rushed for 26 yards on three attempts and used his legs to avoid pressure as he was not sacked on the day. Wilson now becomes the first starting quarterback out of the class of 2012 to win the big one and has proven his ability to make big plays when he is called upon. The Seahawks are still young and have dynasty potential with this guy at the helm for the foreseeable feature.
By Stagg Party