Wilson comfortable in Seattle, ready to compete
Posted July 11, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — Richmond, Va., native Russell Wilson is well traveled as an athlete having played for North Carolina State and Wisconsin in the college ranks, Asheville at the professional baseball level and he now makes home in Seattle as a member of the Seahawks in the NFL.
One thing Wilson hasn’t been able to do much at any of his stops is stay under the radar. The 5-foot-11 quarterback said he no longer needs his GPS to get around Seattle, but he doesn’t go around distraction free either.
“When I go downtown and when I’m out where I live, people know me,” Wilson said. “They definitely come up to me and ask for autographs. I absolutely love it. The fans are all about the 12th man and Seahawks football.”
Being about Seahawks football, fans are also keeping an eye on what head coach Pete Carroll called an open competition for the starting quarterback job. Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson represent the veterans in contention while Wilson is the young, fiery third member to the party. Wilson said there is just one way he knows how to play and whenever his jersey No. 3 gets called, he will be ready.
“I just know that I have an opportunity to play and that fires me up,” Wilson said while joining Adam and Joe on 99.9 The Fan ESPN Radio. “Like I always said, whether it’s Day 1, Day 2, Day 25 or Year 2, I’m going to be ready whenever my name is called. I just have to prepare myself mentally and physically like I am right now and just take one step at a time. You never know when you have to step in and play, it could be Day 1, Game 1 or it could be in the Super Bowl.”
Wilson said that the offseason media has not been too bad and that outside of the combine, it is no worse than in college. That might change when camp gets underway officially in Seattle on July 28 and will undoubtedly change when the Seahawks make their way to Charlotte to play the Panthers in Week 5.
In the meantime, Wilson is finding ways to get back to the east coast and his hometown of Richmond by putting on the Russell Wilson Passing Academy. Football and skills are emphasized, yes, but so too are life values for children that may be teetering.
“We have fatherless homes and I’m trying to help those kids separate the difference between going to college and being a college quarterback or wide receiver and graduating from college or going out and doing something that they shouldn’t do,” Wilson said. “That’s where I’m trying to be a positive mentor for these kids and really help show them what their future is really like.”
Wilson’s camp has many kids already signed up, but is always open for more kids that can get in with the help of a sponsorship or donation. Proceeds from the camp will also go to CR3 Diabetes, an association that Wilson is the National Ambassador for.
The camp will bring in current pros and former Wilson teammates Nick Toon and Owen Spencer.
Still, while in Seattle, Wilson can’t help but think of the east coast as he is emersed in the culture of the Pacific Northwest.
“It kind of reminds me of Richmond and Raleigh with all the trees – and all the water,” Wilson said. “The best part is when I go to the fish market at Pike’s Point. You should see some of these king salmon.”