Friday, August 22, 2008

5 things to know about Pack QB Russell Wilson

Redshirt freshman Russell Wilson was named N.C. State's starting quarterback on Friday afternoon.

Here are five things you should know about him as he prepares to start the season opener Aug. 28 at South Carolina:

1. He has athletic blood lines. Patenal grandfather Harrison Wilson Jr. played baseball and basketball at Kentucky State. Father Harrison III played football and baseball at Dartmouth and spent a brief time with the San Diego Chargers. Brother Harrison IV played baseball and football at Richmond and played at N.C. State in the 2004 season opener won by the Wolfpack 42-0. Harrison's most memorable moment that day was being hurdled by future No. 1 draft pick Mario Williams, who raced into the backfield to make a tackle on the first series of the game.

2. He attended football camp at North Carolina. Charlie McFall, Wilson's high school coach at the Collegiate School in Richmond, Va., said North Carolina (Mike Paulus), Virginia (Peter Lalich) and Virginia Tech (Tyrod Taylor) all had highly regarded quarterbacks they'd promised scholarships and were afraid of losing if they offered Wilson a scholarship. Then Wilson became enamored with N.C. State. "Russell loved the facilities at State, and it was close to home," McFall said.

3. He's already been featured in Sports Illustrated. The "Faces in the Crowd" section profiled him after he threw for 291 yards and ran for 223 more in a state championship win.

4. As he came off the practice field Thursday evening, Wilson had "John 10:9" written in marker on athletic tape wrapped around his left wrist. According to the Bible the N&O's A.J. Carr keeps on his desk, that scripture reads: "I am the door, and the person who enters through me will be saved and will be able to come in and go out and find pasture."

5. He was one of the team's most popular hosts for winter recruiting visits. "I'm not going to take you to a wild club or anything like that where you'll get into trouble," he said in January. "I'm going to take you places where you'll see people you need to see. See other football players. See basketball players. See guys and girls. Not surround you with bad things."

– Ken Tysiac