Friday, April 29, 2011

Pack stunner: Wilson released by N.C. State

RALEIGH – There will be no quarterback controversy at N.C. State in the fall.

Junior Mike Glennon’s status as the Wolfpack’s starter was cemented at 5 p.m. Friday when coach Tom O’Brien issued a stunning announcement that Russell Wilson has been granted his release to play football for another school in 2011 if he so chooses.

According to the terms of the release, Wilson cannot transfer to another ACC school or a school on N.C. State’s schedule.

Wilson, a three-year starter who ranks second in ACC history in touchdown responsibility with 93 scores, is playing professional baseball for the Asheville Tourists and did not participate in spring practice.

"Russell and I have had very open conversations about his responsibilities respective to baseball and football,” coach Tom O’Brien said in a statement released by the school. “While I am certainly respectful of Russell's dedication to baseball these last several years, within those discussions I also communicated to him the importance of his time commitment to N.C. State football.

“My staff and I thank him for his contributions as a member of Wolfpack football and to this university and wish him only the best in the future."

Last season, Wilson played pro baseball and came back to N.C. State at the beginning of fall camp. He went on to earn second-team All-ACC honors and help the Wolfpack earn a 9-4 record and a Champs Sports Bowl win over West Virginia.

Wilson was playing baseball for the Tourists in Rome, Ga., on Friday evening. Efforts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.

N.C. State released a statement attributed to Wilson.

“Although I remain undecided on the option of playing college football this coming season, I believe it is in the best interest of the players and coaches involved to end any speculation of my return to the Wolfpack,” the statement read. “It has become apparent that the time has come for the program to move on without me.”

The statement expressed gratitude to N.C. State and its fans. It said Wilson has not closed the door on pro football and plans to explore and consider all his options.

Wilson has often said it is his dream to play major league baseball and NFL football. Last season, he posted 3,998 yards of total offense, the fourth-highest single-season total in ACC history.

Friday’s announcement was the culmination of a slow widening of a gap between O’Brien and Wilson. In February, O’Brien said N.C. State was moving on without Wilson, but said the door was open to his return.

During spring practice, O’Brien said that if Wilson returned, it would be in a backup position. At the Wolfpack Club booster caravan stop Thursday night in Raleigh, O’Brien compared Glennon to Matt Ryan, Tim Hasselbeck and Matt Hasselbeck, who played for O’Brien at Boston College and went on to become NFL starters.

Where Wilson at 5-foot-11 was known for his ability to scramble as well as throw, Glennon is 6-foot-6 and a classic dropback passer similar to those NFL quarterbacks.

“I think he looked at this spring as an opportunity to take hold of the position and take the job,” O’Brien said. “And that’s what he did.”
O’Brien praised Wilson for his contributions to N.C. State, but also seemed to be shutting the door on him.

“He [Wilson] had a choice to make, and we had a choice to make,” O’Brien said. “Mike Glennon made my choice a heck of a lot easier.”

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Wow, WOW!!!
This new QB must really be great.

Anonymous said...

Wilson is a class act and a great representative of NC State. This is no way to treat a student athlete. He is the only reason O'Brien remains employed. This is a classless act by O’Brien if Wilson didn’t request a release.

Anonymous said...

Why is that classless? Wilson is done with football, it was just a formality.

Mmarkh said...

anonymous @ 5:33 -

Check out the announcement from the university on, Russell did ask for his release.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing classless about this. Wilson requested this, and if anything it was very classy of NCSU to allow him the opportunity to play college football if that is what he wanted. No other program would allow their former star quarterback to play if it weren't for their program. I think it says a lot about Obrien that he was willing to do that. They've dealt with a lot of difficulty with him playing two sports, and he has had a privilege that most student athletes would never have. Best of luck to Russell Wilson, and to Mike Glennon. Big shoes to fill.

Anonymous said...

No need to panic. RW wants to leave his options open to play college FB one more year, NC State can't hinge this season on his potential decision to return. Not fair to Mike Glennon for one, and RW would agree. He is not available until after his season ends with Asheville Tourists (Sept 5th earliest) So his options are limited to step in and start unless it is a lower level program with NO Body, maybe he can hold out for UNCC, but doubtful. It's all good. TOB handled this just as classy as RW. TOB welcomed him back, with understanding that he would have to work and beat out MG.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:15

right on!

Anonymous said...

^ 7:18

Anonymous said...

Will Mike Glennon have two years or only one year to play?

Anonymous said...

2 years

Anonymous said...

does he have to pay his scholarship back?

Anonymous said...

Say what you will, but RW was forced out. An argument is with RW playing two sports, he didn't concentrate enough on football, which led to his release. He did the same last year and led the team to one of state's best seasons. How does O’Brien repay him? He forces him off the team.

Anonymous said...

The Wolfpack love Russell. But we also want someone who is totally available to us. Russell knew what the consequences would be if he couldn't make the commitment through spring and summer this year. If he wanted a starting position, he had to ask for the release to have a shot elsewhere. Mike Glennon will be great for us and obviously, we could never thank Russell enough for loving the university so much and for making us better each year.

Anonymous said...

As a football coach and former player myself, I can see where O'Brien is coming from. You have to choose one or the other and commit. Talent is only going to get you so far and you have to become a student of the game. Now I also can't help but wonder did O'Brien put a target on his back? If the pack comes any shorter than the ACC championship the Pack faithful might get restless and send O'Brien packing just like Sidney Lowe. My personal opinion is we have a dominate defense and Glennon is going to not only get us the ACC championship but we are going to play in a big time bowl too. I think the Pack players to watch are going to be Audi Cole, JR Sweezy, Mustafa Greene, and T.J. Graham.