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O'Brien: We made the best decision for NC State

Posted January 24, 2014

— No matter who wins the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 in New Jersey, former head coach Tom O’Brien will hold claim to a victorious participant for the eighth time in the last 11 seasons. And while Broncos linebacker Nate Irving would like to see the Lombardi Trophy in Denver, it is former NC State quarterback Russell Wilson that is sure to garner more headlines should Seattle win or lose.

Wilson was part of O’Brien’s first class in Raleigh and redshirted his freshman year. That set up a position battle for the signal caller spot the following season.

“We went to preseason with (Mike) Glennon’s freshman year, Russell’s redshirt freshman year, and they went down to the last scrimmage in preseason camp before we decided to go with Russell,” O’Brien said.

Just a couple years later, Glennon seized the spot and Wilson took a different path to professional baseball and then to Wisconsin.

“I’m not clairvoyant. I can’t tell the future,” O’Brien said. “You make a decision on the facts that you have at that time. Certainly, with the facts and the situation what it was, we parted on great terms. Russell went his way, we had to make a decision that was best for NC State. We made that decision and went forward. The best part is that it worked out for both kids.”

Former East Carolina coach Steve Logan backed O’Brien in an interview Friday saying, “What Tom O’Brien did, without a doubt, was the logical best thing to do.”

Current NC State baseball coach Elliott Avent, who got the ball rolling on the two-sport athlete’s career in college, sees it differently and said that Wilson should have never been in a spot to go to Wisconsin, calling him “an NC State guy.”

Wilson and Glennon’s career tracks met this season as they went head-to-head on Nov. 3. The hero of that game? Former NC State kicker under O’Brien Steven Hauschka who hit a game-winner in overtime.

Despite the seemingly unceremonious departure from NC State, however, O’Brien said that he and Wilson maintain a positive relationship and have texted each other this week. O’Brien added that Wilson, “someday might be president if he wants to be. He has a great people skills, he has great leadership, he has great personality.”

Avent insists that Wilson would be a Major League Baseball player if he had stuck with baseball full time. O’Brien said that he can be a Super Bowl winning quarterback by seizing the opportunity he has created for himself in football.

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  • Whistling Dixie Jan 24, 2014

    And the right decision to punt to Gio. Dude is a real buzz kill

  • StunGunn Jan 24, 2014

    I don't know why this is an issue. TOB made the decision that was best for the program when RW couldn't commit to coming back in time for spring practice. This turned out to be a win-win for both TOB and RW. Glennon may not be the QB that RW is, but he gave State two good years where they went to bowls.

  • vt94hokies Jan 24, 2014

    Bascially, I don't even know why this is even a topic on this esteemed WRAL Sportsfan. It's just all about kicking up some dust, and getting some hits to me.

    TOB was trying to save his job, and he told Wilson to hit the trail. How many HC's wouldn't do this? Had Glennon left; what the heck did he have as a back-up? Nothing. TOB interviewed like a stoic Historian. No emotion, nor much positive energy either. He's unlike me. Positive energy goes a long way. Beamer needs some of this as I write this. I still love my school, but I don't like how my school has slipped in football and basketball.

  • dave437 Jan 24, 2014

    why is this still being discussed?

  • Hammerhead Jan 24, 2014

    Dang, is this horse not dead yet? The media is obsessed with this. I didn't even bother reading the story.

  • jscott13 Jan 24, 2014

    I don't mind it when anyone bashes O'Brien. Fools should be exposed for what they are.

  • Boogalooboy Jan 24, 2014

    Wisconsin appreciates the bone head move...Guess who lost his job...Wilson would have been a better QB if he had just showed up for the first game... Glennon will not last long in the pros,

  • sweet D Jan 25, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Glennon had a better winning % than RW did at NCSU, and played RW dead even when they went head-to-head in the nfl(hawks won in ot)....he won a bowl game, just like RW, and he led the 2nd biggest comeback in acc history against the twerps.....not saying he is the better qb, but the results sure blow up your stance

  • jmcdow2792 Jan 25, 2014

    Real life sometimes has hard decisions that have to be made. I suppose life in cyberspace doesn't have to worry about those hard decisions.

  • britthype Jan 25, 2014

    You play your best players. He would not even let Wilson come back and compete. No way is that best and the final results prove it. O'Brien let politics and some sort of loyalty to Glennon outweigh what was best for the football program.

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