The Tug-Of-War Over Russell Wilson


Amid NFL Playoffs, fans and students of North Carolina State and Wisconsin have been waging war over which team Russell Wilson ‘belongs’ to. As an NC State student and die-hard fan, I am prone to argue that because Russell spent 3 years at NCSU and earned his undergraduate degree from this University, that he indeed belongs to us.

Here are the facts:

Russell Wilson started at North Carolina State University. While at NCSU, Wilson was a two-sport athlete, playing both baseball and football. For three seasons, Russell led the football team to success. NC State was undefeated against their rival, University of North Carolina, during Wilson’s time at the university. Russell also had some success with baseball and at the end of his junior season, he declared for the draft. Russell was drafted as the 140th pick overall by the Colorado Rockies. Wilson expected to play baseball until the end of the summer and return to NCSU in August to play football for the Pack.

North Carolina State head coach, Tom O’Brien, had other plans. When Wilson could not make the commitments to football that O’Brien desired, TOB dismissed Russell Wilson from the team.

When the news broke that NC State was releasing QB Russell Wilson, a couple of universities jumped on the opportunity. Ultimately, it came down to Auburn and Wisconsin. As you know now, Wilson chose to spend his last year of eligibility with the Wisconsin Badgers. Wilson had an outstanding season with the Badgers, leading the team to a Rose Bowl win.

In 2012, Russell Wilson was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 3rd round, 75th pick overall. After  competing  against Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson, Wilson was named the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. His rookie season was phenomenal and his sophomore season was even better…

With a Super Bowl win under his belt, the fans of the two universities have gone to elaborate lengths to claim Russell Wilson as ‘theirs’.

In late January, a Wisconsin fan displayed a billboard in Raleigh claiming ‘Russel’ Wilson as a Wisconsin Badger.


Because we’re saucy like that, NCSU fans’ replied with a billboard stating “Our State, Our Russell”. {sidenote: we probably should have put this up in Madison, WI; did they even see it?//just a thought.}


Personally, I think Russell Wilson is a product of both universities. I argue that both programs developed him into the athlete that he is today. He spent three years at NCSU building the foundations of a successful NFL quarterback and at Wisconsin, he was given the platform and the offensive line to show scouts what he could really do. Going to Wisconsin was the best move for Russell’s career. He would have never gotten the attention from NFL scouts that he deserved while at NCSU. SO how about we all just let Russell settle this debate…

In Russell Wilson’s rookie season Sunday Night Football debut, fans were worried about which university Wilson would claim in his intro. Russell Wilson appeased both fan bases by stating that he was from “a whole pack of badgers”.

Wilson also tweeted settling the controversy. russelltweet

So Wisconsin fans and fellow members of Wolfpack Nation, let’s just leave it at that.


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