Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will return to N.C. State next month for the Wolfpack's spring game and have his No. 16 jersey honored, the school announced on Tuesday.
The former Wolfpack quarterback, and now Super Bowl champion, will return to Carter-Finley Stadium on April 12 to have his jersey honored at the annual Kay Yow Spring Game. Wilson was a three-time All-ACC quarterback for N.C. State from 2008-10 before graduating and finishing his playing career at Wisconsin.
"This is truly an amazing honor and I am looking forward to being back in Raleigh and Carter-Finley Stadium," Wilson said a prepared statement. "My experience at N.C. State was an amazing one playing football and baseball but also accomplishing my goal of graduating in three years. My memories of playing as the quarterback for the Wolfpack are never ending and the roar of the Wolfpack Nation still rings in my ear from memorable wins against FSU and UNC!
"I learned the value of great leadership, ultimate sacrifice, and the relentless belief that hard work pays off. I am grateful for all of my amazing teammates and players past, present, and future. I can still taste and sense the blood, sweat, and tears we all sacrificed to be successful."
NC State also announced plans to honor Wilson and Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams as Wolfpack legends throughout the season. According to the News & Observer, the tribute will similar to what Michigan did to honor former quarterback Tom Harmon this past season.
Wilson and Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams will be the first two N.C. State players to have their jersey numbers set up as a tribute to their college careers. That means the next player to wear Wilson's No. 16 or Williams' No. 9 will do so with a patch that honors their respective legacies.
Michigan used a similar tribute this season with Tom Harmon's No. 98. Quarterback Devin Gardner wore the number of Harmon, the 1940 Heisman Trophy winner, with a patch with the words “Michigan legend,” and the years he played, stitched on it.
Other former Wolfpack expected at the spring game include Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman J.R. Sweezy and Denver Broncos linebacker Nate Irving. Mario Williams will not be in attendance due to a scheduling complication.