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Russell Wilson

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Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson
Wilson warming up during the 2014 preseason
No. 3     Seattle Seahawks
Personal information
Date of birth: (1988-11-29) November 29, 1988
Place of birth: Cincinnati, Ohio
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) Weight: 206 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: Richmond (VA) Collegiate
College: Wisconsin
NFL Draft: 2012 / Round: 3 / Pick: 75
Debuted in 2012 for the Seattle Seahawks
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 14, 2014
Completion % 63.6
TDINT 69–24
Passing yards 9,204
Passer rating 98.9
Rushing yards 1,755
Rushing TDs 10
Stats at

Russell Carrington Wilson (born November 29, 1988)[2][3][4] is an American football quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). Wilson was selected by the Seahawks with the 12th pick in the third round (75th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft.[5]

Wilson played college football for the University of Wisconsin during the 2011 season, in which he set the single season FBS record for passing efficiency (191.8) and led the team to a Big Ten title and the 2012 Rose Bowl.[6] Wilson received the Big Ten Quarterback of the Year award and was named a consensus first-team All-Big Ten and third-team All-American by Yahoo! Sports.[7]

Wilson played football and baseball for North Carolina State University before transferring to Wisconsin. In 2008, he was named the ACC Rookie of the Year in football and became the first freshman quarterback to receive first team All-ACC honors. Wilson also played minor league baseball for the Tri-City Dust Devils in 2010 and the Asheville Tourists in 2011 as a second baseman.[8]

Wilson signed a four-year, $2.99 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks on May 7, 2012 and was named the team's starting quarterback on August 26, 2012.[9][10] In 2012, Wilson led the Seahawks to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs and was voted the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.[11][12] In the 2013 season, Wilson led the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl win in the team's 38-year history.

Early life and family

Wilson was born in Cincinnati, Ohio[13] and grew up in Richmond, Virginia, the son of Harrison Benjamin Wilson III, a lawyer, and Tammy T. Wilson, a legal nurse consultant.[14][15][16] He has an older brother, Harrison IV, and a younger sister, Anna.[17] Wilson started playing football with his dad and brother at the age of four.[14]

His racial background is mostly African American, though he also has some Native American ancestry.[18] His great-great-grandfather was a slave to a Confederate colonel and was freed after the American Civil War.[19] Wilson's grandfather, Harrison B. Wilson Jr., is a former president of Norfolk State University who played football and basketball at Kentucky State University. His father played football and baseball at Dartmouth and was a wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers preseason squad in 1980. Wilson's brother played football and baseball at the University of Richmond, and his sister is considered one of the top high school basketball prospects in the country.[20][21][22]

Wilson's father died on June 9, 2010 at age 55 due to complications from diabetes.[20]

High school career

Wilson attended Collegiate School, a preparatory school in Richmond, Virginia.[2] As a junior in 2005, he threw for 3,287 yards and 40 touchdowns. He also rushed for 634 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was named an all-district, all-region, and all-state player. Wilson was twice named the Richmond Times-Dispatch Player of the Year.[23]

As a senior in 2006, he threw for 3,009 yards, 34 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Wilson also rushed for 1,132 yards and 18 touchdowns. That year, he was named an all-conference and all-state player as well as conference player of the year. He was featured in Sports Illustrated magazine for his performance in the state championship game win.[23] Wilson also served as his senior class president.[24]

In addition to football, Wilson was also a member of the Collegiate basketball and baseball teams.[25]

Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Russell Wilson
Richmond, Virginia Collegiate School 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 4.53 Jul 23, 2006 
Scout:2/5 stars   Rivals:2/5 stars   247Sports: N/A
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 67 (QB)   Rivals: NR (QB), NR (Virginia)
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


  • "2007 Team Ranking". Retrieved October 7, 2011. 

Wilson committed to North Carolina State University on July 23, 2006.[26] He also received a football scholarship offer from Duke University.[27]

College football career

NC State (2007–2010)

Wilson redshirted during the 2007 season at NC State. In 2008, Wilson initially split time at quarterback with senior Daniel Evans and junior Harrison Beck. However, Evans and Beck saw no regular season action after Week 2 and Week 5, respectively. Thereafter, Wilson led the team to a 4–3 record in the regular season which NC State finished out on a four-game winning streak. During a win over East Carolina, Wilson threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns. He threw for two touchdowns in each of the last six season games.[28]

In the 2008 Bowl against Rutgers, Wilson threw for 186 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 46 yards before halftime. Late in the first half, he scrambled to the Rutgers' four-yard line, where he was tackled and suffered a knee sprain. With Wilson sitting out the remainder of the game, his replacements threw a combined total of three interceptions with NC State eventually losing, 23–29.[29] Over the course of the season, he completed 150 of 275 attempts for 1,955 yards and 17 touchdowns with just one interception. He also recorded 116 carries for 394 yards and four touchdowns.[28] The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) named him the first-team All-ACC quarterback. It was the first time in the conference's history that a freshman quarterback was named to the first team.[30]

Prior to the 2009 season, Wilson was named as the quarterback on the pre-season all-ACC football team on July 12. On September 19, Wilson broke Andre Woodson's all-time NCAA record of 325 consecutive pass attempts without an interception against Gardner-Webb. The 379-pass streak ended in a game against Wake Forest on October 3.[31] Wilson held the record until November 10, 2012, when it was broken by Louisiana Tech quarterback Colby Cameron.[32]

Wilson led the 2010 Wolfpack to a 9–4 season that included a 23–7 win over West Virginia in the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl. He led the ACC in passing yards per game (274.1) and total offensive yards per game (307.5). Wilson graduated from NC State in three years in May 2010 with a BA in communication, and took graduate-level business courses in the fall semester during the 2010 football season.[33][34][35][36][37]


In January 2011, Wilson announced that he would report to [38] NC State head coach Tom O'Brien expressed reservations with Wilson's decision, saying "Russell and I have had very open conversations about his responsibilities respective to baseball and football. 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 NC State football."

O'Brien and his staff reached out to NFL coaches and general managers on Wilson's behalf, but he failed to receive an invitation to the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine.[39]

On April 29, 2011, O'Brien announced that Wilson had been granted a release from his football scholarship with one year of eligibility remaining.[40]

Wisconsin (2011)

Wilson and the Badgers threaten the Purdue Boilermakers end zone in 2011

On June 27, 2011, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema announced that Wilson had committed to Wisconsin for the 2011 season.[41]

In the season opener against UNLV, Wilson passed for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 51–17 victory. He also rushed for 62 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown run. At the end of the regular season, Wilson was named first team All-Big Ten by both the coaches and media. Wilson also won the Griese-Brees Big Ten Quarterback of the Year award.[42]

In the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game on December 3, Wilson threw for 3 touchdowns and led the Badgers to a 42–39 win over the Michigan State Spartans. Wilson was named the game's Grange-Griffin MVP.[43]

In December 2011, Wilson was named a third team All-American by Yahoo Sports, and he finished ninth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy with 52 points.[44][45]

In the 2012 Rose Bowl vs. the Oregon Ducks on January 2, 2012, Wilson had 19 pass completions on 25 attempts for 296 yards, 18 rushing yards, and 3 touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing). The Badgers lost the game 38–45.[46]

Wilson finished the season with 33 passing touchdowns, which set the single season record at Wisconsin and was the second-most in Big Ten history behind Drew Brees during the 1998 season at Purdue (39).[47] Wilson also set the single season FBS record for passing efficiency (191.8).[48]

On January 28, 2012, Wilson completed his college football career at the 2012 Senior Bowl.


Year School Passing Rushing
Comp Att Yds TD Int Pct Eff Att Yds Avg TD
2008 NC State 150 275 1,955 17 1 54.5 133.9 116 394 3.4 4
2009 NC State 224 378 3,027 31 11 59.3 147.8 103 260 2.5 4
2010 NC State 308 527 3,563 28 14 58.4 127.5 143 435 3.0 9
2011 Wisconsin 225 309 3,175 33 4 72.8 191.8 79 338 4.3 6
College totals 907 1,489 11,720 109 30 60.9 147.2 441 1,427 3.2 23

Baseball career

After graduating from high school, Wilson was selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the 5th pick in the 41st round (1222nd overall) of the 2007 MLB Draft.[49] Wilson instead elected to attend NC State that fall. In a 2008 interview Wilson said, "I was leaning towards [entering the draft], but a college education is something you'll always have."[21]

College baseball

Wilson was a member of the NC State Wolfpack baseball team from 2008–2010, and in the summer of 2009 played for the Gastonia Grizzlies, a collegiate summer baseball team in the Coastal Plain League.[50][51] He hit .282/.384/.415 with five home runs and 30 runs batted in (RBIs) during his career.

Professional baseball

On June 8, 2010, Wilson was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round (140th pick overall) of the 2010 MLB Draft.[52] That summer he played 32 games as a second baseman for the Tri-City Dust Devils, the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Rockies in the Northwest League. He finished the season with 2 home runs, 11 RBIs, and a .230 batting average.[8][53]

In the summer of 2011, Wilson played 61 games with the Asheville Tourists, the Class A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies in the South Atlantic League. He had 3 home runs, 15 RBIs, and a .228 batting average.[8] In January 2012, Wilson informed the Rockies that he would be pursuing a career in the NFL and would not report to spring training for the 2012 season.[54]

On December 12, 2013, Wilson was acquired from the Rockies by the Texas Rangers in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft.[55] On March 3, 2014, Wilson attended Rangers spring training in Surprise, Arizona where he spoke to the team and participated in infield drills.[56]

NFL career

2012 NFL Draft

On January 16, 2012, Wilson began training for the NFL Scouting Combine at the IMG Madden Football Academy in Bradenton, Florida.[57][58]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
5 ft 10⅝ in 203 lb 31 in 1014 in 4.55 s 4.09 s 6.97 s 34 in 9 ft 10 in
All values from NFL Combine[59]

Prior to the 2012 NFL Draft, Wilson had been projected by NFL scouts and analysts to be a middle-round pick.[60] In February 2012, former NFL quarterback and director of the IMG Madden Football Academy Chris Weinke said of Wilson, "If he was 6–5, he'd probably be the No. 1 pick in the draft."[57] On April 11, 2012, ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden said, "The only issue with Russell Wilson is his height. That might be the reason he's not picked in the first couple rounds."[61]

On April 27, 2012, Wilson was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round (75th pick overall) of the draft.[62]

Seattle Seahawks (2012–present)

Wilson during the Vikings vs. Seahawks game on November 4, 2012

2012: Rookie season

Wilson signed a four-year, $2.99 million contract with the Seahawks on May 7, 2012.[9] He made his preseason debut against the Tennessee Titans on August 11, 2012 and had his first preseason start on August 24 against the Kansas City Chiefs.[63][64] On August 26, 2012, Wilson was named the starting quarterback for the first regular season game after competing with Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson for the position.[10]

On September 9, 2012, Wilson made his regular season debut in a 20–16 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Wilson threw 18 completions on 34 attempts for 153 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.[65] In the third regular season game against the Green Bay Packers, the Seahawks won 14–12 on a controversial hail mary touchdown pass to Golden Tate.[66] The contentious nature of the replacement officials' decision on the play was widely considered to have been the tipping point that led to an agreement being reached to end the 2012 NFL referee lockout.[67][68]

Wilson earned the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week honors for his stellar week 10 performance in a 28–7 victory over the New York Jets. He threw 12 completions on 19 attempts for 188 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 7 rushing attempts for 34 yards.[69] Wilson was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week and FedEx Air Player of the Week for his week 13 performance in the 23–17 Seahawks win over the Chicago Bears.[70] He earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month honors for December 2012 after the Seahawks went 5–0 and Wilson achieved a passer rating of 115.2.[71]

Wilson finished the 2012 regular season ranked 4th in the NFL in passer rating (100.0), beating the previous rookie record set by Ben Roethlisberger in 2004 (98.1). He threw for 3,118 yards and 26 touchdowns, tying Peyton Manning's record for most touchdowns thrown by a rookie,[72] and rushed for 489 yards and four touchdowns. Wilson's scrambling abilities earned numerous comparisons to Hall-of-Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton.[73][74]

Wilson led the Seahawks to the postseason in his rookie year. He made his postseason debut in the NFC Wild Card Round against the Washington Redskins, passing for 187 yards and rushing for 67 yards as the Seahawks rallied for a 24–14 comeback victory over the Redskins. During the divisional round against the Atlanta Falcons, Wilson threw for 385 yards and rushed for 60 yards but the Seahawks lost the game 28–30.[75]

Wilson was selected as an alternate for the 2013 Pro Bowl, filling in for Matt Ryan.[76] At the Pro Bowl, Wilson threw 8 completions on 10 attempts for 98 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions for a 147.1 rating.[77]

At the end of the season, Wilson earned a bonus of $222,000 through the NFL's Performance-Based Pay program.[78][79]

2013: Super Bowl season

Wilson with the Lombardi Trophy at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Feb. 5, 2014

Wilson's Seahawks opened the 2013 season with the first 4–0 start in franchise history, giving up their first loss to the Colts in week 5.[80] The Seahawks then went on a 7-game winning streak, culminating in a 34–7 victory over the Saints in week 13 in which Wilson threw 3 touchdown passes and earned his second NFC Offensive Player of the Week award.[81] Over the next 3 weeks the Seahawks would suffer 2 divisional losses to the 49ers and Cardinals (the loss to the Cardinals represented Wilson's first home loss as QB for the Seahawks), but defeated the Rams in week 17 to finish the season with a 13–3 record, the NFC West title, and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Wilson finished the season with 26 touchdown passes, 9 interceptions, and a 101.2 passer rating, becoming the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to post a 100+ passer rating in each of his first 2 seasons. Wilson was named to his second Pro Bowl on December 27, 2013.[82] On January 19, 2014, Wilson and the Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, 23–17, sending the Seahawks to Super Bowl XLVIII.[83] Wilson threw for 206 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions for a 123.1 passer rating in the 43-8 defeat over the Denver Broncos.[84] Wilson became just the second black starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl, joining Super Bowl XXII winner Doug Williams.[85] In addition to this, Wilson, at 5'11" tall, became the shortest quarterback to have ever won a Super Bowl, surpassing Len Dawson, Joe Theismann, and Drew Brees (all 6'0").

Wilson earned a bonus of $169,141.73 for the 2013 season through the NFL's Performance-Based Pay program.[86]

2014: Third Season

On September 21, 2014, Russell Wilson led the Seahawks on an 80 yard touchdown drive in overtime to defeat the Denver Broncos, 26-20, in a Week 3 rematch of the previous season's Superbowl. On October 6, 2014 against the Washington Redskins Wilson set a new Monday Night Football record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a single game with 122.[87] As of October 2014, the Seahawks are 17-2 at home with Wilson as their QB (and 19-2 when including the victories over the Saints and 49ers during the 2013 postseason). The two home losses came against the Cardinals in Week 16 of the 2013 season and against the Cowboys in Week 6 of the 2014 season.

Career statistics

Regular season

Season Team Games Passing Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Comp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Sck SckY Rate Att Yds Avg TD FUM Lost
2012 Seattle Seahawks 16 16 252 393 64.1 3,118 7.9 26 10 33 203 100.0 94 489 5.2 4 6 3
2013 Seattle Seahawks 16 16 257 407 63.1 3,357 8.2 26 9 44 272 101.2 96 539 5.6 1 10 5
2014 Seattle Seahawks 13 13 236 372 63.4 2,729 7.3 17 5 33 185 95.2 101 727 7.2 5 9 0
Total 45 45 745 1,172 63.6 9,204 7.9 69 24 110 660 98.9 291 1,755 6.0 9 25 8


Season Team Games Passing Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Comp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Sck SckY Rate Att Yds Avg TD FUM Lost
2012 Seattle Seahawks 2 2 39 62 62.9 572 9.23 3 1 7 48 102.4 15 127 8.5 1 1 1
2013 Seattle Seahawks 3 3 43 68 63.2 524 7.71 3 0 7 22 101.6 11 42 3.8 0 2 1
Total 5 5 82 130 63.8 1096 8.43 6 1 14 70 102.0 26 169 6.5 1 3 2

NFL records and achievements

  • 2012 Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year
  • Most passing touchdowns in a season by a rookie (26, tied with Peyton Manning)
  • 2× Pro Bowl (2012, 2013)
  • Most passing yards in a playoff game by a rookie (385 yards)[88]
  • Most regular season wins by a quarterback in his first two seasons (24); most total wins in first two seasons (28, including playoffs)[89]
  • Super Bowl XLVIII Champion (2014)
  • First Quarterback to throw for 300+ yards and rush for 100+ yards in a single game. Done against the St. Louis Rams in Week 7 of the 2014 season.


On April 26, 2012, Wilson announced he had chosen French/West/Vaughan as his marketing, public relations and endorsements agency.[90] In September 2012, shortly after being named the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, Wilson filmed his first commercial for Levi's as part of its "Go Forth" campaign. The commercial debuted on September 18, 2012.[91][92] In January 2013, Wilson signed a multi-year endorsement contract with American Family Insurance, and has appeared in multiple commercials for the company.[93][94] Wilson has also appeared in advertisements for Pepsi,[95] Nike,[90] Alaska Airlines,[96] Microsoft,[97] Duracell,[98] Braun,[99] Bose,[100] United Way,[101] and Larson Automotive Group.[102] In 2014 Wilson signed on to endorse Eat the Ball, a European bread company.[95]

Wilson in popular culture

Wilson has appeared on the cover of several magazines including Sports Illustrated,[103][104] Sports Illustrated Kids,[105] ESPN The Magazine,[106] Men's Fitness,[107] and Men's Health.[108]

Rapper Eminem mentions Russell Wilson in his 2013 song featuring Rihanna, The Monster:[109]

"It's payback, Russell Wilson falling way back / In the draft, turn nothing into something, still can make that / Straw into gold chump, I will spin Rumpelstiltskin in a haystack"

Wilson has appeared on Late Show with David Letterman,[110] Late Night with Seth Meyers, Charlie Rose,[111] and will make a cameo appearance in the 2015 movie Entourage.[112]

Personal life

Wilson lives outside Seattle with his two Great Danes.[113][114] He married his long-time girlfriend Ashton Meem on January 14, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia.[25] It was announced on April 23, 2014 that the couple had filed for divorce.[115]

Wilson became a devout Christian at age 14 when he said he saw Jesus in a dream.[116][117] Wilson often references his faith in press conferences and interviews. He also posts daily Bible verses on his Twitter feed.[118]

Charitable work

Wilson is an active volunteer in the Seattle community. During the NFL season, Wilson makes weekly visits on his days off to the Seattle Children's Hospital, and has also visited with soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.[19][119] In the offseason, Wilson hosts the Russell Wilson Passing Academy, a youth football camp, in several cities. In 2012, proceeds from the camp went to the Charles Ray III Diabetes Association, for which Wilson is the National Ambassador.[120][121][122] Since 2013, Wilson has partnered with Russell Investments for its "Invested with Russell" program, which donates $3,000 to Wilson's charitable foundation for every touchdown he scores.[123]

Wilson co-hosted a charity golf event along with NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Washington in June 2014 which raised over $220,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.[124][125]

See also


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External links

  • Career statistics and player information from • ESPN • CBS Sports • Yahoo! Sports • • Pro-Football-Reference • Rotoworld
  • Seattle Seahawks bio
  • Wisconsin Badgers bio
  • NC State Wolfpack bio
  • Career statistics and player information from Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
  • Russell Wilson on Twitter
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