At one time, Russell Wilson was the face of NC State's football program.
The star QB, known for his dual-threat ability, was a two-sport star at NC State, dominating in both football and baseball. While his ability on the gridiron has always been noticed, his ability on the diamond has attracted even more attention.
He has started the last three years at NC State for football, accounting for 93 TDs overall, being named the first-team All-ACC QB in 2008 (and adding a Rookie of the Year the same season) and being selected to the All-ACC team again in 2010. In the process, Wilson broke the NCAA record for most consecutive passes without an interception with 389 tosses.
NC State's future with him, however, became murky when he entered the MLB Draft. He was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2010, leaving his football status up in the air. He played for NC State in 2010, and he might have had his best year to date.
In 2010, Wilson accounted for 3,998 total yards (highest in the ACC, fourth-highest in ACC history) and scored 37 TDs (28 through the air), which also led the ACC.
However, since he's been facing uncertainty about which sport is in his immediate future, NC State head football coach Tom O'Brien said that should Wilson return to the football team, he would be the back-up to new starter Mike Glennon, seeing as Glennon was only a football player.
Immediately after the news came out and Wilson and O'Brien had some talks, Wilson asked NC State for a release. It was granted.
This means that, should he decide he wants to play football, he can enroll at any school and play immediately. He has just one year of eligibility left, so he would only have one shot to leave one final mark on college football.
After thanking NC State for all they've done for him on and off the field, he bid the school goodbye and announced he was moving forward. But the primary reason he's leaving is because he wouldn't start thanks to a decision by O'Brien.
An ESPN article by SEC Blogger Chris Low suggested that Auburn could be in the running for the star QB.
There has been no speculation from either side, but seeing as Wilson can't go to another ACC school and Auburn is relatively close, it makes sense. It makes more sense considering that a player like Wilson has experience and would be a perfect fit for the Gus Malzahn offensive system.
Wilson, when asked, said he was "95% sure" he'll play college football this year, and it's speculated he wants to play in the SEC. Yeah, sounds a lot like the situations I brought up, doesn't it?
Think about this, folks. There could be a possibility that the heir to Cam Newton isn't Barrett Trotter, Clint Moseley or Kiehl Frazier, but rather Russell Wilson, who is already an iconic figure in college football.
The last time we saw a case like this was when former Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli left the school and enrolled at the University of Mississippi to play for Houston Nutt's Ole Miss Rebels.
The big differences are there, though. Wilson doesn't have the character concerns that Masoli did. Wilson left the school because he was involved with baseball, causing him to lose his starting QB job. Masoli left his school because he was arrested, several times, as a matter of fact.
No cheap shots at Masoli, who was a pretty model person and student when he got to Ole Miss, but Wilson has never been involved in controversy or run into trouble with the law.
These may be just ideas, but they do have some reasons behind them. This is something that would make a lot of sense. He may decide to go to baseball, who knows except for him. But Auburn fans can dream about what this would mean.
Let's just think of what the "Auburn dream scenario" would be here: Russell Wilson signs with Auburn, starts, thrives in Malzahn's offense, and all of this while having a great dual-threat on the field while not having to force Frazier into action! This would be a move that would not only benefit Auburn now, but the Tigers would also benefit in the future should Russell Wilson sign.
Of course, Wilson probably isn't the QB Cam Newton was. Newton was 6' 6", 250 pounds and could run over you. Wilson is 5' 11", 201 pounds and probably couldn't truck an SEC defender. But Wilson might have a better arm than Cam, as he beat Newton by almost 1,000 yards through the air last year while throwing about 200 more passes.
Also, Wilson is probably faster than Newton, which would be great for Malzahn's offense.
Tigers fans, I wouldn't get my hopes up just yet. But man, if he does happen to sign, 2011 could be a much better year than anybody expects.
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