Before Russell Wilson won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks, started in the NFL as a rookie, and led Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl, he played at North Carolina State.
The spring before Wilson's senior season in Raliegh, N.C, then-Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien sat down with his quarterback, who had been spending his offseasons playing minor league baseball. O'Brien wanted Wilson to focus solely on football, and said if he wouldn't, he'd likely hand the starting job to four-star recruit Mike Glennon, now also in the NFL. So Wilson, having already graduated, decided to transfer to Wisconsin and play immediately.
There's apparently no bad blood between Wilson and his former school, though. The 25-year-old star had his jersey honored at N.C. State's spring game, and during his time on campus, he spoke to the Wolfpack's squad.
Some of the highlights from Wilson's speech:
"There was a mindset that every day when we came into the locker room and stepped out onto the field every day and when we stepped out onto the field for the game, that we were going to be better than everyone else. And we were going to prepare that way," Wilson said. "When I came to N.C. State I came here to play football and baseball. I had a unique situation and I just believed in myself. I had so many people that told me I couldn't do it. ... I knew that every day I was going to compete at the highest level."
"There are a select few guys here that are going to make it (to the NFL)," Wilson said. "And the question is when you make it, what are you going to do with it?"
"I'm proud to be part of N.C. State. I love this school to death," Wilson said. "You've got to cherish those moments. Just go out there and ball out. At the end of the day it comes down to how you practice. It comes down to the everyday things. The little things that matter. And doing everything you can to take care of your business. Not just on the football but the small things outside as well."