Blog Entry

Russell Wilson given release by N.C. State

Posted on: April 29, 2011 5:39 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Tom O'Brien made no secret of the fact that he wasn't expecting budding baseball star Russell Wilson back with the Wolfpack in 2011, and that he was ready to move on with Mike Glennon under center. Talking with Eye on Football at the end of March about the quarterback situation, O'Brien didn't even bother to mention Wilson's name.

But all the same, the assumption has been that if the Pack's most recognizable and -- arguably -- most talented player wanted to put off his baseball career to return to school for one more season on the gridiron, O'Brien would welcome him back with open arms. We found out this afternoon, that that is definiteively not the case; despite Wilson's apparent desire to return to N.C. State's quarterback position, O'Brien has granted Wilson an unconditional release to pursue his football opportunities elsewhere.

O'Brien's statement leaves little doubt as to his reasoning (emphasis added):
“Russell and I have had very open conversations about his responsibilities respective to baseball and football,” O’Brien said in a statement released by the school. “While I am certainly respectful of Russell's dedication to baseball these last several years, within those discussions I also communicated to him the importance of his time commitment to N.C. State football.

“My staff and I thank him for his contributions as a member of Wolfpack football and to this university and wish him only the best in the future."
In other words: show up for spring practice, or don't bother coming back for the fall. Wilson elected against the former, and O'Brien has followed through with his decision about the latter.

So what now? For the Wolfpack, it makes 2011 the first critical season for O'Brien in the post-Wilson era; if the coach needed to prove he could build on the gains of 2010 without his star quarterback, that will now go double since he's gone without him voluntarily.

And as for Wilson, having already graduated from NCSU means he can now transfer to any school with a graduate program NCSU doesn't offer and play without sitting out a transfer season. For instance, if Wilson wanted to enroll in a Parks and Recreation program and couldn't in Raleigh, he could do so at -- to choose an example entriely at random and not at all based in the realm of actual possibility, trust me -- Ole Miss.

But Wilson's future is for another afternoon; what we know today is simply that, for better or worse for either side, that future won't involve O'Brien or N.C. State.


Since: Jul 11, 2010
Posted on: May 2, 2011 12:22 pm

Russell Wilson given release by N.C. State

If Wilson had an injury and couldn't make it to spring practice would O'Brien kicked him off the team? No! What if Wilson played baseball with NCST instead of professionally would that make a difference? Maybe...but this is another coach that needs to check his ego and make decisions on whats best for the individual and the team, not to cement his status as a hardass.

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: May 1, 2011 5:01 pm

Russell Wilson given release by N.C. State

Well then. Back to obscurity with you NC State.

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: May 1, 2011 2:53 pm

Russell Wilson given release by N.C. State

Why didn't he just play baseball and football in college? Like Sterling at USC last season even though he quite baseball because it was to much.

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: May 1, 2011 9:25 am

Russell Wilson given release by N.C. State

In an era where coaches will do anything to get and keep a player on the field weather its within the rules or not Tom O'Brien should be admired for taking a stand and should gain more respect from the other 85 players on NC States roster.

Wilso was a great player and a good kid, it was hard not to admire his ability to lead his team. Glennon was a highly recruited QB and should be able to start the season without too many issues. Again I admire the fact that O'Brien is willing to sacrafice victories to build a program where rules are rules something that is clearly missing around college football today. Im sure if Wilson wants to play there are plenty of programs that could use his services. At 5-11 the kid is too short to play QB in the NFL if he has his degree and his professional future is in baseball its in his best interest to stay with that rather than risk injury with another season of football. The path to the majors is a long one, most players struggle in lower class A ball because the pitching is terrible and there are fewer strikes to hit. You will see players numbers get better as they move up to high A ball or AA ball.

I wish Russel Wilson the best he was a great talent I think its in his best interest and the programs that he moves on.

Since: Nov 3, 2007
Posted on: April 30, 2011 10:30 pm

Russell Wilson given release by N.C. State

A player doesn't get good enough to write his own rules.  O'Brien did the right thing and all you guys saying come to my school, unless your coach is a dummy he wouldn't take him.   

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: April 30, 2011 8:29 pm

Russell Wilson given release by N.C. State

Louisville could certainly use him.

What are the chances he plays anywhere this year?

Since: Apr 18, 2011
Posted on: April 30, 2011 7:05 am

Russell Wilson given release by N.C. State

Wow!  Thanks Opie for doing us a favor!  TOB is either completely full of himself or is a real dumba$$.  This kid was the best qb in the ACC.  Without him, State does not win more than 4 games in either of the past 2 years.  Remarkable!  I know that Glennon is a promising qb, but a star today is worth more than a potential star tomorrow. 

Since: Jun 13, 2009
Posted on: April 30, 2011 12:24 am

Russell Wilson given release by N.C. State

I was thinking the same thing.

Since: Oct 8, 2010
Posted on: April 29, 2011 11:38 pm

Russell Wilson given release by N.C. State

Heck come to Chapel Hill!!!!!!!  Beat O'Brien down for his poor judgment, but do it to a team NC STATE hates!  Sure Russell was always half and half, but he was a awesome QB for Wolfpack.  Come to UNC we will accept you and not hate.

Since: Sep 20, 2009
Posted on: April 29, 2011 7:41 pm

Russell Wilson given release by N.C. State

Tom o Brien let him miss spring practice he needed to make this hard choice. Wilson did great things at NCST and he is a wonderful young man he will do well where ever he goes. I wish he would have stayed at NCST and then chased the baseball dream. For the reacord his he not doing so great in baseball batting less than .200 He would have had more fun playing football. I support the coach on this one he had to make this move

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