Posted on: May 2, 2011 7:14 pm
Edited on: May 2, 2011 7:15 pm

Baseball costs N.C. State QB starting job

Russell WilsonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Colorado Rockies prospect Russell Wilson's baseball career cost him his quarterback slot at North Carolina State. 

Wilson, a three-year starter for the Wolfpack, said he wanted to return to N.C. State but when it became clear that coach Tom O'Brien wouldn't give him a fair shot at winning the starting quarterback job because he's playing baseball. Wilson, instead, asked for -- and was granted -- a release from his scholarship.

"I really want the fans, N.C. State alumni and most of all my teammates to know if I had been given an equal opportunity to compete for the starting job, I would not have asked for my release," Wilson told the Charlotte Observer. "I am a competitor."

O'Brien read statement over the phone to a reporter when reached for comment. 

"He knew the importance of his time commitment to our football team heading into this offseason, and how things might change if he was not able to make that commitment," O'Brien said in both his statement and when he read the statement to the Observer.

Wilson said he respects O'Brien and what he wanted to do, but he still would have liked to have a chance to finish his career at N.C. State. Wilson had hoped to play both professional baseball and football, but will seek to exhaust his football eligibility and play another season. He said he needs to play in 2011 in order to show what he can do to the NFL.

Wilson led the ACC with 274.1 passing yards per game and with 307.5 yards of total offense, leading the Wolfpack to a 9-4 record, including a victory over West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Because Wilson has already earned his degree from N.C. State, he would be eligible to transfer to another FBS school if he enrolls in a  graduate program not offered by N.C. State. Wilson will certainly have plenty of options for places to play, inkling some SEC schools.

As a baseball player, the 22-year-old second baseman, is hitting .226/.377/.387 with a home run and four stolen bases in 21 games for the Class A Asheville Tourists. He's a teammate of former Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker, who is hitting .368/.416/.574 with two homers.

Wilson was drafted in the fourth round last year and signed for $200,000 with the Rockies allowing him to continue his football career.

Baseball America ranked him as the No. 19 prospect in the Rockies' system.

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Posted on: December 31, 2010 3:47 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2010 6:28 pm

Rockies prospect breaks ribs in bowl game

Kyle Parker You rarely hear about prospect injuries around New Year's, but few first-rounders are playing college football. Rockies first-rounder and Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker left the Meineke Bowl with broken ribs in the first half of the Tigers' loss to South Florida.

Parker signed with the Rockies, but took less money to play another season of football at Clemson, who were a pre-season contender for the ACC title. The Tigers went 6-7 and Parker had a disappointing season as a redshirt sophomore. The 21-year old threw 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions going into the bowl game and was 11 for 17 for 134 yards and an interception in the loss to the Bulls.

Parker led the team to a touchdown drive at the end of the half, but didn't return for the second half.

Parker, a big-time power prospect, got a $1.4 million signing bonus from the Rockies and may have left up to $800,000 for the opportunity to play college football this season. He turned down a $2.25 million offer from the Rockies to give up football.

In 2009-10, Parker became the first-ever college player to throw for 20 touchdowns and hit 20 home runs in the same academic year. For the Tigers, Parker hit .344/.478/.656 with 20 home runs and 64 RBI as a first baseman and outfielder.

On the ESPN broadcast, the announcer said Parker had told them he will give up football after this season and start his career with the Rockies.

UPDATE: Here's what Parker, who suffered cracked and bruised ribs on the play above, said after the game and his choice to come back for another season of football from Greg Wallace of the Anderson Independent Mail :


"When you look at that, you have to look at the situation I was in,” he said. "If I would've gone and played baseball, I wouldn’t have known much it’d have been worth. That’s the way negotiations were. When you sit back and look in hindsight, it’s really tough to say. I think I’ve learned a lot of things. I don’t have any questions in my mind.

"If I never make it to the major leagues and have to get a real job, the $900,000 would be nice. If I’m sitting with the Rockies, making a comfortable living, knowing I made the right choice it could be worth it."


-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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