Russell Wilson's transfer from NC State to Wisconsin came after coach Tom O'Brien chose to go with Mike Glennon over Wilson as the Wolfpack's starting quarterback heading into the 2011 season. This we have known for years.
O'Brien has discussed his decision in the past, but Wilson had remained quiet on what went on behind the scenes leading up to his departure from Raleigh, North Carolina. That was until Saturday when he gave a commencement speech at Wisconsin's graduation and addressed that very topic.
In his speech, Wilson recounted the conversation he had with O'Brien prior to Wilson returning for his senior season at NC State. In Wilson's words, he was not only told that he would not start at quarterback for the Wolfpack, he was told he would not get the opportunity to play for NC State.
"The summer before my senior year of college, I'm playing minor-league baseball. I called my football coach at NC State and said, 'Hey coach, I'd like to come back for my senior year. He told me I wasn't coming back,'" Wilson recalled, as transcribed by ESPN.
"He said, 'Listen son, you're never going to play in the National Football League. You're too small. There's no chance. You've got no shot. Give it up.' Of course, I'm on this side of the phone saying, 'So you're telling me I'm not coming back to NC State? I won't see the field?' He said, 'No son, you won't see the field.'
"Now, this was everything I had worked for and now it was completely gone. If I wanted to follow my dream, I had to leave NC State. I had no idea if I would get a second chance somewhere else."
Wilson's account of his talk with O'Brien doesn't paint the coach in the best light with Wilson claiming O'Brien told the player to give up playing football because he had "no chance" of making the NFL. As we all know, Wilson went on to a fantastic season at Wisconsin and has become a Super Bowl winning quarterback with the Seattle Seahawks.