Video: Russell Wilson Recalls Hearing 'He'll Never Make It' at 2012 NFL Combine

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2020

Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson throws as he runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said Tuesday he heard somebody at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine say he'd "never make it" after his height was measured at below 6'0". 

Wilson discussed the situation with actor Kevin Hart on the LOL Network's "Cold as Balls: Cold Calls" series on YouTube. He explained he tried everything, including extra hair product, in an effort to increase his height and was shocked when he checked in only a shade over 5'10".

"I was gonna try to put some socks under these feet and try to get a couple extra inches," he said. "I had my hair all tall, and I had it all gelled up. And I'm thinking to myself, 'Man, I'm gonna be a good 6'0", 6'1" with this hair.' This hair is growing long. Sure enough—I know I measured myself, my true height, I'm like 5'10 [and 7/8]—so anyways sure enough this dude measured me at 5'10 1/4". I was hot."

Wilson, who's now listed at 5'11" on the Seahawks' official roster, told Hart what he heard while walking away from the measurements provided motivation.

"I'm walking down the aisle, right? And everybody's like [whispering], and I'll never forget this," he said. "There's this dude on the right, I ain't going to say who it is, he said to the guy next to him, 'Psst, he'll never make it. He'll never make it.' I'll never forget hearing that in my right ear."

Here's a look at the complete conversation (combine talk starts around the 5:40 mark):

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The rest is history.

Wilson, who compiled 132 total touchdowns in 50 games during his collegiate career at NC State and Wisconsin, slid to the third round of the 2012 draft in large part because of concerns about his height.

He proceeded to lead the Seahawks to a championship with a triumph over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, and he's earned seven Pro Bowl selections in eight NFL seasons.

Wilson and the New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees (who's listed at 6'0") have shown it's possible to overcome a lack of prototypical quarterback size to have a highly successful pro career.

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