Friday, August 22, 2008

Big hands offset N.C. State QB's lack of size

After practice Thursday, I asked N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson to hold up his hand so I could see for myself. I'm about 6-foot-3, with hands that I think are average for somebody my size. Wilson is 5-foot-11, and one of the criticisms he has always faced is that he's small for a quarterback.

"The only drawback I've ever heard about Russell in any way, shape or form is his height," Charlie McFall, Wilson's former coach at the Collegiate School in Richmond, Va., said Thursday.

Wilson held his hand up to mine. Sure enough, even though he has to tilt his head just a bit to look up at me, his hands are bigger than mine. Why is this important? Because the ability to see over linemen is only one reason coaches like tall quarterbacks.

Taller guys also tend to have bigger hands, which can help them handle the ball better and perhaps even throw more easily.

Wilson was named the starting quarterback Friday.

Wilson has an asset you wouldn't expect him to have - big, strong hands that also make him a successful infielder for N.C. State's baseball team.

– Ken Tysiac