Sometimes college athletes surprise us, choosing to play football for tuition and a cafeteria meal card over baseball for gobs and gobs of money. Who at this time last year foresaw Kyle Parker turning down a multi-million dollar offer from the Colorado Rockies to quarterback Clemson for another year?
Of course, that Parker has struggled mightily through a massively disappointing season on both the individual and team levels shows the risk of the honorable approach, and why so few choose it. So it makes sense that N.C. State head coach Tom O'Brien sounds already resigned to the Champs Sports Bowl being the last performance of QB Russell Wilson in a Wolfpack uniform:
Wilson, a junior, returned to the Wolfpack after playing pro baseball last summer in the Colorado Rockies organization. But O’Brien said next season will be a different situation.That's pretty much the situation in a nutshell, isn't it? "They have money. What do I have to offer?" A chance at getting the Wolfpack over the hump and into the ACC championship game and the joy of collegiate football camaraderie, but that's about it. Compared to the riches awaiting a prospect already taken in the MLB draft's fourth round (one also engaged and reportedly about to receive his degree) it might not amount to much.
“When he left the last time he spent the whole spring here and was, the whole time, around us,” O’Brien said. “And he wasn’t being paid [last spring]. He’s being paid now. And they have money. And what do I have to offer? So who knows what’s going to happen."
To be fair, Wilson has stated he wants to play both football and baseball professionally, and another year at N.C State will likely do much to improve his NFL draft stock. But an injury might ruin his chances at both, for good. O'Brien probably knows what he's talking about.
HT: DocSat .