Russell Wilson's Ascendance to NFL Stardom

Russell Wilson is arguably one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks. His abilities in and out the pocket are unmatched. He has stunned fans across the NFL with his high football I.Q. and the way he can turn a doomed play on offense into a 50-yard gain. Throughout his journey to the NFL, there were a lot of people that told Wilson no, but he proved all of his doubters wrong by becoming one of the most dynamic players in the game.

Russell Wilson grew up in Virginia. Throughout his childhood, he showed an incredible prowess for both football and baseball. His father, Harrison, was Wilson’s number one fan throughout those formative years. He told Wilson to live by 3 P’s, which stand for perseverance, perspective, and purpose. One of the high points in Wilson’s life was met with immeasurable sadness. Wilson’s father died the same exact day he was drafted by the Texas Rangers. While Wilson misses his father, he is always thinking about him. Even the distractions within a game on Sunday can’t distract him from thinking of his dad.

Wilson had a choice to sign with the Rangers and receive a $350,000 signing bonus or go play football and baseball at North Carolina State. Wilson decided to attend school, wanting to pursue a college education. Wilson ended up playing more baseball, getting drafted by more teams but never signing a contract. He was the three-year starter at NC State before his coach made the decision to name future NFL Quarterback Mike Glennon the starting quarterback, which forced Wilson to transfer to Wisconsin. Wilson continued to shine at Wisconsin, taking the Badgers to the Rose Bowl. Wilson had established quite a pedigree in college, and now it was time for him to declare for the draft.

Every team had passed on Russell Wilson before the Seahawks took him with the 75th pick overall in the third round the 2012 NFL Draft. One thing that scared NFL Scouts and General Managers about Wilson was his height. Wilson is 5”11, which is nowhere near the height of a prototypical NFL quarterback.

I’ve heard my whole life that I’m too small to be a quarterback but at the same time I know my height doesn’t define my skillset.

Wilson was expected to sit on the bench in Seattle, at least for the time being. Seattle had signed quarterback Matt Flynn to a contract earlier in the offseason. Flynn was expected to be the Week 1 starter for the 2012 season. However, Wilson’s great skill, competitive drive and leadership skills made Head Coach Pete Caroll feel like Wilson was ready to go earlier than expected. Wilson won the starting job and tied Peyton Manning’s rookie passing touchdown record with 26 touchdowns. Seattle went 11-5, qualifying for the playoffs.

One year later, Wilson and the Seahawks took on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII and crushed them 43-8. Wilson was a Super Bowl Champion in only his second season, outperforming a legendary opposing quarterback whose quarterback camp he attended when he was in tenth grade. Wilson went to two Super Bowls his first three years. Winning one of them. Since he’s been the starting quarterback, the Seahawks have never missed the playoffs and are always known as one of the heavier favored teams to win the Super Bowl.

Wilson is just as good of a leader off the field as he is on the field. Ever since joining the Seahawks, Wilson has become an important member of the Seattle community. His charity, the Why Not You Foundation, helps raise money for the various causes in the Seattle Area. During the NFL season, Wilson started a tradition called #BlueThursday where he goes and visits a local children’s hospital to bring joy to young Seahawks fans who are afflicted with diseases. Wilson is someone young fans across the NFL can truly look up to. Everything he does for the community doesn’t make just make him one of the most valuable faces of the franchise, it makes him one of the most prominent people in the city of Seattle.

Russell Wilson has experienced incredible highs and the absolute lowest of lows throughout his NFL career. Throughout the trials and tribulations, he continues to grow as a leader of men and role model. By the time his career is over, he will go down as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. Many things about his physical stature and style of play defy the nature of what makes a great NFL Quarterback, but Wilson has lived his life by the 3 P’s his father taught him (perseverance, perspective, and purpose) and has brought him prosperity (a fourth P) to him on and off the field.

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