2018 NFL Draft

Russell Wilson, QB

School: Wisconsin  |  Conference: BIG10
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Richmond, VA
Height/Weight: 5-11 / 204 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
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04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Seahawks' picks: Round 3/75 - Russell Wilson, QB, 5-11, 206, Washington...Somewhat of a surprise pick by Seattle, but the team loves his skill set and leadership skills. Don't be surprised if Wilson manages to make some noise at quarterback in 2012. - The Sports Xchange

04/27/2012 - QB Russell Wilson, Wisconsin -- At 5-11, the odds are quite literally stacked against Wilson but his efficiency and touch downfield is a match for the Darrell Bevell offense in Seattle, and he'll get at least a few years to work behind new starter Matt Flynn.

04/23/2012 - "Doesn't matter where you plug him in. He finds a way to win." What does that mean for Wilson, a three-year star at N.C. State before transferring to Wisconsin, where he led the Badgers to the Rose Bowl in his only season? It means he'll definitely be drafted, probably around the fourth round, by a team intent on believing what Wilson can be, not what he isn't. "Can he make it? I think so," said Bill Polian, longtime Colts president now ESPN analyst. "Where will he be drafted? I can't tell you. Does he have a future in the NFL? Absolutely. Is it as a starter? I can't say that." For all Wilson did as a college player - and there have been few more productive - the NFL plays a different game. It starts at quarterback. Just ask the Carolina Panthers. It also starts with first-round picks. During the past eight years, 23 quarterbacks have been first-round picks and 15 of them are now starters. In that same time, 82 quarterbacks have been drafted in the second round and beyond. Only seven of those quarterbacks have become NFL starters. That doesn't work in Wilson's favor. - Ron Green Jr., The Richmond Times Dispatch

04/23/2012 - NFL DRAFT TOP QUARTERBACKS: Russell Wilson, Wisconsin, 5-11, 204...Wilson is a special person whose shocking leadership and athletic abilities ignited a Wisconsin offense that averaged 44.1 points a game last year. But it will be historic if he overcomes his height deficiency to star in the NFL. At the combine, Wilson measured exactly 5-10 5/8, which is rounded to 5-11. To give that historical perspective, since 1952 only two quarterbacks that short have been successful in the NFL -- Eddie LeBaron (Washington, Dallas, 1952-63), who was 5-7; and Doug Flutie (Chicago, New England, Buffalo, San Diego, 1986-2005) was 5-9??. The NFL's shortest current starting quarterback is Drew Brees (6-0??). Still, Wilson's athleticism is tempting and somebody will give him a chance to fulfill his family dream. His father, Harrison Wilson III, was a baseball/football star at Dartmouth, but missed the final cut as a pro wide receiver (Chargers) before becoming a successful lawyer. He was Russell's idol and biggest fan. But he died from complications of diabetes in June 2010, one day after learning his son was drafted by the Colorado Rockies. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

04/23/2012 - NFL DRAFT TOP QUARTERBACKS: Last year, with N.C. State pressuring him to quit baseball, Wilson transferred to Wisconsin and didn't have to sit out a season because he already earned a degree. Wilson started all 14 games in 2011, setting an NCAA single-season record for passing efficiency (191.78 rating) and completing 225 of 309 passes (72.82 percent) for 3,175 yards, 33 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He rushed for another 338 yards and six scores. In 50 college games, Wilson passed for 11,720 yards, 109 TDs and only 29 interceptions. He is cerebral, instinctive and agile and has a powerful, accurate arm with great touch. He now says he is committed to football. But he's short. However, he has the wingspan of somebody 6-3?? and larger hands than any quarterback rated above him (10?? inches). If he could just add a couple of those inches to his height. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

04/19/2012 - LITTLE BIG MEN: THE BEST UNDERSIZED PLAYERS IN THIS YEAR'S DRAFT: Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin: Not only is Wilson the shortest QB in the draft, he is the 61st shortest player in the draft. The guy started 50 college games, threw 109 touchdown passes and ran for 23 touchdowns. At 5-10, 204 pounds not many teams are thinking he can play in the NFL, but I did find one coordinator that said, "At the very worst, he could have a Seneca Wallace career and would be great off the bench because of his intelligence and athletic ability." For such a short guy, how did he only throw four interceptions in 309 attempts this past season? How did he ever see well enough to throw 33 touchdown passes in his first year in the Wisconsin offense? - Pat Kirwan, CBSSports.com

04/16/2012 - Russell Wilson is considered a late-round NFL Draft prospect at QB for the Green Bay Packers in a list compiled by the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Several pro scouts are concerned about Wilson's height (5-10 5/8), but one scout said "everybody is missing on a future NFL starter," according to the Press-Gazette. The Packers are looking for a development QB to vie for the backup slot behind Aaron Rodgers. - Tammy Madsen, CBS Sports

04/12/2012 - It was the biggest issue about former University of Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson heading into the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. It was still the biggest issue going into UW's pro timing day. And it remains the biggest issue with the start of the NFL draft two weeks away. "The only issue with Russell Wilson is his height," ESPN and "Monday Night Football" analyst Jon Gruden said Wednesday. Gruden is a former NFL head coach who won a Super Bowl at Tampa Bay and also coached the Oakland Raiders prior to that. For three years, Gruden has become a leading authority on quarterbacks entering the draft, thanks to his popular "Gruden's QB Camp" shows on ESPN. Gruden spent time recently with 10 quarterbacks in Florida, mostly watching film and also watching them throw. The show featuring Wilson aired on ESPNU on Wednesday. - Tom Mulhern, The Wisconsin State Journal

03/08/2012 - Wisconsin Pro Day: Quarterback Russell Wilson not only completed 59 of 63 passes, according to Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal, he also improved on the one element that scouts question the most -- his height. After being measured at 5-11 even at the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine, Wilson inexplicably came in 3/8 of an inch taller at the Pro Day. Conspiracy theorists know this, pro scouts are the ones doing the measuring at each event. Wilson, according to the scout, was poised throughout the workout and demonstrated "the same touch and arm strength we'd all seen on tape -- whether here [at Wisconsin] or before [at North Carolina State]." "He's a very impressive fellow," Green Bay Packers' general manager Ted Thompson said of Wilson, "articulate, knowledgeable, confident, and he projects that confidence. He's going to be a good get for somebody." Wilson is currently rated as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 10 quarterback. His size is the biggest factor keeping outside of the top five at the position and thus a team willing to cater their offense around his ability to throw on the run could grade him significantly higher. - NFLDraftScout.com

03/08/2012 - Each of Russell Wilson's passes was completed with laser-like precision - pass after pass after pass - 63 passes in all during his throwing session Wednesday at Pro Timing Day in the McClain Center. Wilson completed passes rolling to his right, rolling left and dropping back in the pocket. "A couple of the guys (scouts) made reference after Russell hit two or three of those deep balls that they would have stopped the workout - there was no reason to prove anything else,'' said Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema. "I think that he wants to get it out there that he's a very accurate passer.'' That was the purpose of the exercise, according to Chris Weinke, the director of IMG Madden Football Academy in Bradenton, Fla. For the last seven weeks, Wilson has been working with the 39-year-old Weinke, the 2000 Heisman Trophy winner out of Florida State. "This was an opportunity to come out and make a number of different throws - every throw that Russell will be asked to make on Sundays - and to throw the ball with accuracy,'' said Weinke, who's also training Michigan State's Kirk Cousins and Texas A & M's Ryan Tannehill. "For him to come out there and make over 60 throws and only miss a couple - and the ones he missed were good throws - proved that not only does he have the arm strength, but he's got great feet and his accuracy is impeccable. "I wanted to make sure in those 60 throws we covered every possible throw. Quite frankly, he did an unbelievable job. To me, he just put on one of the best QB performances I've seen in a long time ... He's one of the most special guys I've ever worked with.'' A year ago, Weinke trained Cam Newton and Christian Ponder before the NFL draft. - Wisconsin football

02/13/2012 - On the subject of Wisconsin, several scouts this week noted that the comparisons of Badgers quarterback Russell Wilson to Drew Brees are dramatically overstated. But most also agreed that Wilson will be drafted, and that his overall stock probably has benefitted from the decisions of some underclass quarterback prospects, most notably Matt Barkley of USC and Oklahoma's Landry Jones, to return to campus for the 2012 season, rather than enter the draft. - Len Pasquarelli, The Sports Xchange

01/23/2012 - 2012 SENIOR BOWL MONDAY: Russell Wilson clearly has the arm strength to make NFL throws but was surprisingly tentative in his first Senior Bowl practice. Too often he stood flat-footed in the pocket and surveyed the field looking for easy completions. He attacked holes when he saw them, rifling in passes through tight coverage but also stared down his receivers on occasion and was nearly picked off a few times. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

01/12/2012 - Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson tells The New York Times that he has decided to play in the NFL rather than continue his baseball career in the Colorado Rockies' organization. Wilson was taken by the Rockies as a second baseman on the fourth round with the 140th pick two years ago and hit .229 over two seasons with five homers and 26 RBIs in the Northwest and South Atlantic leagues. He helped Wisconsin reach the Rose Bowl this season after transferring from North Carolina State and has told the Rockies he will not be reporting for spring training. - AP Sports

01/02/2012 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Russell Wilson is making all schools elevate the importance of bringing in transfers to fill gaps in the starting lineup. Since arriving from North Carolina State in the summer, Wilson solidified Wisconsin's offense and provided leadership with his toughness and unflappable resolve. Wilson led the Badgers to five straight victories after two straight losses to Michigan State and Ohio State. Wilson has passed for 2,692 yards and 28 touchdowns passes, while rushing for 325 yards and five touchdowns. Wilson's leadership will be important against the fast and motivated Ducks. Wilson's running is something that could pose a problem for Oregon's ball-hawking defense. - The Sports Xchange

11/14/2011 - WEEK 11 BIG TEN OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Russell Wilson, Wisconsin, Sr., QB, was nearly perfect in Wisconsin's win over Minnesota, completing 16 of 17 passes for 178 yards and four touchdowns, including connecting on all 13 of his passes for 162 yards and three scores in the first half...His 94.1 completion percentage ranks as the fourth highest in a game in Big Ten history...Became just the 13th quarterback in the Football Bowl Subdivision to pass for 100 or more touchdowns in his career...Claims his third weekly honor of the season and of his career. - Big Ten football

11/05/2011 - To make sure that a two-game funk didn't snowball into a lost season, No. 19 Wisconsin returned to the familiar formula that worked so well earlier: Keep handing the ball to Montee Ball, and sprinkle in some big plays from Russell Wilson. Ball rushed for a career-high 223 yards with three touchdowns and Wisconsin rebounded from back-to-back losses with a 62-17 rout of Purdue on Saturday. "We needed this," Ball said. "Badly." Saturday's victory was a boost to the Badgers (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) after late collapses at Michigan State and Ohio State the past two weeks cost them a potential shot at the national championship. "Two weeks that seemed like an eternity have come to an end," Badgers coach Bret Bielema said. "We've won so many games around here. I was thinking about this, I was trying to remember the last time we lost games back-to-back. It's been a while, and you're just not used to that feeling. You're not used to it, and I don't want our kids to ever get used to it." Ball was the star but the Badgers got another standout effort from Wilson, who threw two touchdowns and scored on a scramble. Wilson was 15 of 20 for 205 yards, and had 76 yards rushing before Bielema rested him early in the fourth quarter. "He's right up there with Denard Robinson as far as his ability to extend plays," Purdue linebacker Joe Holland said. "He's a really, really good decision-maker and he's not going to throw too many stupid passes. If he doesn't see anything, he's going to make something happen with his legs." - AP Sports

10/15/2011 - Russell Wilson took a brief break from throwing touchdown passes to catch one from his running back. For No. 4 Wisconsin, it was another chapter in the brief-but-growing legend of Russellmania. Wilson caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Montee Ball on a trick play, then spent much of the afternoon handing to Ball for big gains as Wisconsin beat Indiana 59-7 on Saturday. "I knew I was going to catch it," Wilson said. "I was hoping Montee would make a great throw like he's been doing all week. We were 10 for 10 during the week on it, so I knew it was going to be a touchdown." The biggest play of the day went to Wilson, who is being promoted as a Heisman Trophy candidate by the Badgers (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten). And it wouldn't have happened without Ball - who wasn't happy with the throw he made in the game. "It was terrible," Ball said. "Because he was wide open and I was nervous. I was nervous when I let the ball go. But he did a great job of tracking it down." Ball was sensational in his regular role, rushing for 142 yards and touchdowns of five, 35 and 54 yards. Wilson threw for 166 yards and a touchdown with 42 yards rushing. He was rested in the fourth quarter. James White added 87 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Badgers. Wisconsin was playing without top wide receiver Nick Toon, who sat out with a left foot injury. With the game decided by halftime, one of Badgers coach Bret Bielema's biggest challenges in the second half was managing players to make sure his front-line players weren't unnecessarily exposed to injury. "It's kind of a nice job to have," Bielema said. - AP Sports

10/03/2011 - Following a dominant 48-17 win over No. 8 Nebraska, Wisconsin senior quarterback Russell Wilson has been named the Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week. The senior connected on 14 of 20 pass attempts en route to collecting 255 passing yards. In only five games as a Badger, Wilson has thrown for at least two touchdowns in each game and has totaled 1,391 yards through the air. He currently ranks as the nation's second-most efficient passer and has thrown for a touchdown in 29 straight games, the longest current streak in the nation. "It's huge for our football team, huge for our football program," Wilson said. "And the fact that we came out with a win, the fact that we played a great game and defense stepped up and made some great plays for us and got the offense the ball back. And to play a great game like that against a great team in Nebraska, is pretty awesome." Despite trailing 14-7 early in the second quarter, Wilson and the rest of the Wisconsin (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) team stepped up and put the game away, scoring five straight touchdowns to take a 41-14 lead. The Richmond, Va., native also collected 32 rushing yards and one touchdown on the ground. Wisconsin, now ranked No. 4 in the latest Associated Press Top 25, will take a bye week before hosting Indiana on Oct. 15. - Wisconsin football

10/03/2011 - WEEK 5 BIG TEN CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Russell Wilson, Wisconsin, Sr., QB, Richmond, Va./Collegiate...Accounted for three touchdowns in Wisconsin's win over top-10 opponent Nebraska...Completed 14 of 20 passes (70 percent) for 255 yards and two touchdowns, also recording six rushes for 32 yards and a score...Has thrown a touchdown pass in 29 straight games, the longest current streak in the nation, and has thrown at least two touchdowns in each of his five starts at Wisconsin...Claims his second weekly Big Ten award, last winning on Sept. 5. - Big Ten football

10/02/2011 - Russell Wilson gave Nebraska a harsh welcome to the Big Ten, throwing for two touchdowns and running for another in No. 7 Wisconsin's 48-17 rout of the eighth-ranked Cornhuskers on Saturday night. Montee Ball ran for 151 yards and four touchdowns for the Badgers (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten). But Wilson was the main attraction for a primetime television audience as Wisconsin overcame a slow start to solidify its status as the class of the conference. "If there's a better player in college football right now, I'd like to see it," Badgers coach Bret Bielema said of Wilson. Taylor Martinez threw three interceptions for the Huskers (4-1, 0-1), who showed they weren't quite ready for the best of the Big Ten. By the time the Camp Randall Stadium public address system blared "Jump Around" to get fans hopping before the fourth quarter, the game already was in the bag for the Badgers. "I knew there was a lot of hype going into this game," Bielema said. "That's why I kind of challenged our players to embrace it all week. I knew if we went out and played well and did what we do, we'd get a lot more attention." It was the sixth meeting between the teams and the first since 1974, but clearly the biggest and one of the most anticipated games in recent memory for Wisconsin. The Badgers fans didn't exactly have Camp Randall to themselves. - AP Sports

09/22/2011 - LOOKING GOOD: Wisconsin's offense rolled up 621 total yards and 7 touchdowns as everything clicked against Northern Illinois. Russell Wilson and Nick Toon hooked up for the Badgers' first two touchdowns to give Toon 6 TDs in the Badgers' last 7 games. The Badgers' defense limited one of the nation's most productive offenses to 7 points and 237 total yards. QUOTE TO NOTE: "We really keep our philosophy pretty simple. We don't get too cute. Too many teams get too gadgety with their defense, too cute. Our guys line up and play and get after people." - Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. - The Sports Xchange

09/22/2011 - "I always tell kids overtime is the time when you really gain the benefit of, if you're a guy that's working a 40-hour-a-week job, you get paid time-and-a-half or double with overtime. Same thing with football players. If you want to put in extra time the success you're going to have is winning bowl games, NFL opportunities. So today's an overtime day." Quarterback Russell Wilson might need to work overtime just to get to 40 hours per week. The Badgers have been so successful offensively, Wilson has been spending fourth quarters on the bench. He ranks No. 2 nationally in passer efficiency with a 213.4 rating because he's completing 76 percent of his passes, averaging 12.0 yards per attempt and earning 1 touchdown for every 8.3 passes. - The Sports Xchange

09/22/2011 - "(Wilson) is playing at a high, high level," Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "If there's somebody that is better out there right now I'd like to see him because he is an exceptional football player." Three days before the Blowout by the Lake, Doeren was asked who Wilson most resembled. He suggested Wilson seemed most like Northern Illinois senior Chandler Harnish, another prolific dual-threat quarterback. Harnish entered Saturday's game leading the nation in Touchdowns Accounted For with 11. Harnish added just one score to his total as the Badgers limited him to 162 total yards. - The Sports Xchange

09/22/2011 - QB Russell Wilson jumped two spots to eighth place in The Heisman Pundit's rankings after completing 23 of 32 passes for 347 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 INT against Northern Illinois. While it's nice for the North Carolina State transfer to be trending upward, he ranks seventh among quarterbacks on the Pundit's list. - The Sports Xchange

09/22/2011 - There's going to come a time when Russell Wilson encounters a defense that can slow him down. But at the rate Wisconsin's senior quarterback is going, that time probably isn't going to come until after he finishes his college career. Former Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren had his chance Saturday when his Northern Illinois squad hosted the Badgers at Soldier Field. Doeren understood he owned an advantage because he knew the strengths and weaknesses of every Wisconsin player. Well, except for the one who didn't transfer into the program until five months after Doeren departed. Wilson threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns to pace Wisconsin to a 49-7 romp. The Badgers, who jumped to No. 6 in the Associated Press poll, scored touchdowns on five consecutive possessions in the middle quarters (not including the 1-play kneel-down to close the first half) to destroy a solid mid-major program that has designs on becoming the next TCU or Boise State. - The Sports Xchange

09/22/2011 - QB Russell Wilson has set a ridiculous standard of excellence during his first three starts at Wisconsin. Here's how ridiculous: The senior hit 23 of 32 passes for 347 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception in Saturday's win over Northern Illinois - yet his passer efficiency rating dropped more than 20 points. Wilson still ranks second nationally in efficiency (213.4) and he has thrown for 8 touchdowns in just 66 attempts. - The Sports Xchange

09/22/2011 - THIS WEEK'S GAME: South Dakota at Wisconsin, Sept. 24 - The Badgers gun for their 32nd consecutive win over a non-conference opponent during the regular season. The Coyotes aren't slouches as they rank No. 20 in the Football Championship Subdivision coaches' poll, but Wisconsin ought to be able to get its work done in the first three quarters and then start to look ahead to the Oct. 1 Big Ten opener against Nebraska. KEYS TO THE GAME: South Dakota boasts a veteran offense and likes to run the ball as much as Wisconsin does. Clearly the Badgers must establish their physicial superiority as rapidly as they did against Oregon State and Northern Illinois. South Dakota surrenders 224 passing yards per game, but it has picked off 5 passes while allowing just 4 TDs through the air. Might the Coyotes have more luck against Russell Wilson than anyone else to date? PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Russell Wilson - The senior remains entrenched in the nation's No. 2 spot for passer efficiency (213.4 rating). He'd be closer to top-ranked Baylor QB Robert Griffin III, but he tossed an interception late in last week's blowout win over Northern Illinois. The Badgers have limited his running attempts to date. Wilson has toted the ball just 11 times - mostly in scramble situations. - The Sports Xchange

09/18/2011 - Try and shut down Montee Ball and James White, and Russell Wilson will throw all day long. Cover up his receivers, and Wilson will tuck the ball and run. And even if a defense somehow manages to contain all three of Wisconsin's best weapons, well, the Badgers will find someone else to get it done. No. 7 Wisconsin looked like an offensive juggernaut Saturday, piling up more than 600 yards in a 49-7 rout of Northern Illinois at Soldier Field. Wilson threw for 347 yards and three scores, Ball ran for a pair of touchdowns, White finished with 126 yards of total offense and four other players pitched in with 50 yards of offense or more. "It's a positive thing that a lot of guys can make a lot of great plays," said Wilson, who was 23 of 32. "I just have to get the ball to the right guys, that's my job." It was the 31st straight regular-season victory over a nonconference team for the Badgers (3-0), who have one last warmup before their much-anticipated Oct. 1 game against new Big Ten member Nebraska at Camp Randall. The only blemish for the Badgers was Wilson's interception in the third quarter, the first turnover of the season for Wisconsin. - CBS Sports

09/16/2011 - It's never too soon to start the Russell Wilson Heisman watch. The North Carolina State transfer has played close to flawlessly in his first two games for Wisconsin which actually have been more like five quarters of action. Wilson heads into Saturday's game against Northern Illinois at Soldier Field hitting 79 percent of his passes for 444 yards and 5 scores. The Badgers haven't trotted out many plays that highlight his running ability, so he has just 6 carries for 73 yards and 1 TD. The Heisman Pundit website ranks Wilson 10th on its list through Week 2, which puts him behind Michigan QB Denard Robinson and Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez among others. Wilson has yet to benefit from playing a full game, and Northern Illinois is good enough to force the Badgers to keep Wilson in long enough to pile up bigger stats. - The Sports Xchange

09/16/2011 - LOOKING GOOD: Wisconsin excelled in all facets in Saturday's 35-0 win over Oregon State. QB Russell Wilson took advantage of a run-focused defense by hitting 17 of 21 passes for 189 yards and 3 TDs. The Badgers' defense gave up 23 net rushing yards in 24 attempts. That included 3 sacks totaling 25 yards. Thanks to Wilson, Wisconsin ranks third nationally in passer efficiency with a 221.78 rating. Backup quarterback Joe Brennan has hit 1 of 3 passes for 3 yards, which means Wilson has accounted for the other 444 passing yards along with all 5 touchdown passes. QUOTE TO NOTE: "A lot of great chemistry out there in the huddle. That's what I notice -- the huddle is really sharp, really clean. We're getting in and out and playing with a lot of confidence." - Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson in the Wisconsin State Journal. - The Sports Xchange

09/16/2011 - QB Russell Wilson hasn't shown much of his running ability, but he hasn't needed to do so. Wilson operated Wisconsin's play-action offense with ridiculous ease in Saturday's 35-0 win over Oregon State as he hit 17 of 21 for 189 yards and 3 scores. He ranks second nationally in passer efficiency (237.64 rating) and fourth in completion percentage (79.4 percent). - The Sports Xchange

09/16/2011 - THIS WEEK'S GAME: Wisconsin vs. Northern Illinois at Soldier Field, Sept. 17 This game was scheduled originally for NIU's stadium, but the teams agreed to move it to the Chicago Bears' home field after NIU and Iowa enjoyed a sellout crowd in 2007. There's not going to be a sellout this time around, but there should be a bunch of points scored as former Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren tries to lead NIU to the upset. The Badgers have won 30 consecutive regular-season non-conference games, which ranks second nationally to LSU. KEYS TO THE GAME: Northern Illinois, which averages 45.5 points per game, wants to wear down Wisconsin with its no-huddle attack. But there's a conundrum that comes with that strategy. It's best for Wisconsin's opponents to try to hold on to the ball and win time of possession because the Badgers wear down defenses. Both teams have proven they can get into the end zone, but only Wisconsin has proven it can keep teams out of the end zone. Barring a huge disparity in turnovers, Bret Bielema should prevail over his protege. - The Sports Xchange

09/16/2011 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Russell Wilson - The senior transfer ranks second in passer efficiency this season as he has hit 27 of 34 passes for 444 yards and 5 scores. Wilson owns 8,989 passing yards for his career, which ranks third among active players. His 10,151 total yards rank second among active players. Only Boise State's Kellen Moore (11,061 yards) is ahead. - The Sports Xchange

09/12/2011 - WEEK 2 STARS: Russell Wilson, Wisconsin, threw three TD passes and the No. 8 Badgers overcame a slow start from their running game to beat Oregon State 35-0. - AP Sports

09/10/2011 - Russell Wilson threw three touchdowns and No. 8 Wisconsin overcame a slow start from its running game to beat Oregon State 35-0 at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday. With Oregon State's defense stuffing running backs Montee Ball and James White early on, Wisconsin pounced on special teams mistakes and leaned on Wilson and the defense to do the rest. In his second career start for the Badgers (2-0), Wilson was 17 of 21 for 189 yards and the three touchdowns, including a pair to tight end Jacob Pedersen. Wisconsin's running game broke through after halftime, and Ball had a pair of touchdowns in the second half. Sean Mannion most of the snaps at quarterback while the game still was in doubt but struggled to move the ball for Oregon State (0-2). - AP Sports

09/07/2011 - THIS WEEK'S GAME: Oregon State at Wisconsin, Sept. 10 The Badgers will have two more days of rest than the Beavers, but it might turn out to be more than that because Oregon State figures to have some sleepless nights after getting stunned by FCS foe Sacramento State in its opener. Now throw in the facts that Oregon State has to do the traveling and start Saturday's game at 9 a.m. body-clock time. It's going to be hard for Oregon State to give its best effort. PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Russell Wilson - One game at Wisconsin, one Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honor. The North Carolina State transfer was almost perfect in his Camp Randall debut. The Badgers produced 7 touchdowns and 1 field goal during his eight possessions at the helm, so he'll look to maintain his 1.000 batting average. If you're looking for hard numbers, Wilson hit 10 of 13 passes for 255 yards and 2 TDs while rushing twice for 62 yards and a score. If he had thrown the ball 15 times (the NCAA minimum), he would be leading the nation with his 292.5 passer-efficiency rating. - The Sports Xchange

09/05/2011 - BIG TEN WEEK 1 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Russell Wilson, Wisconsin, Sr., QB, led Wisconsin to a 51-17 win over UNLV in the Badgers' season opener on Thursday night...Accounted for 317 total yards, including 255 through the air on 10-of-13 passing with two touchdown throws...Ran for 62 yards on a pair of carries, highlighted by a 46-yard touchdown run in the second quarter...His completion percentage (76.9) and pass efficiency (292.5) were the highest by a Wisconsin QB making his debut since 1951. - Big Ten football

09/01/2011 - Less than three months after finalizing his transfer to Wisconsin, Russell Wilson finds himself as the offensive leader and a co-captain for the team favored to represent the Leaders Division in the first Big Ten championship game. While that might sound like a long way to go in a short time, Wilson isn't your every-day transfer. When he leads 11th-ranked Wisconsin onto the field against UNLV on Thursday night before an ESPN audience, the former North Carolina State starter will rank third among active college players in total yards (9,628) and third in touchdowns responsible for (93). Wilson's unique transfer earned stories in the New York Times and Sports Illustrated - just to name a few of the national entities to get some time with the young man. Head coach Bret Bielema shut down access to Wilson as the UNLV game drew near, even though he recognized Wilson seems to take the attention in stride. "It really comes natural to him," Bielema told reporters. "I don't think it makes him think any bigger than who he is or what he is. I think the kids were kind of overwhelmed by it. But strictly on the football field, his football IQ is really exceptional. I've never taught him in a classroom, but my guess is (it's) the same thing there. Why was he able to graduate in three years? The maturity level that that young man has and the way he can process everything going around him, whether it be schematically with Xs and Os, whether it be locker-room chemistry, whether it be media chemistry, he's got a pretty good handle on everything." - The Sports Xchange

09/01/2011 - THIS WEEK'S GAME: UNLV at Wisconsin, Sept. 1 ESPN decided this would be the perfect game to kick off its 2011 coverage. For the Badgers, this serves as the perfect game to kick off their bid to repeat as a BCS team. They're familiar with the Rebels (last year's 41-21 win at UNLV) and they understand second-year coach Bobby Hauck will put a better product on the field this time around. And did we mention Wisconsin has won 28 straight regular-season non-conference games and hasn't lost a season-opener since 1997? KEYS TO THE GAME: Wisconsin wants to be a big-play, turnover-happy defense this season - but it lost its most productive player in DE J.J. Watt. In order to set the tone for the season, the Badgers need to take advantage of a UNLV offensive line group that doesn't have a single senior and force a turnover or four. On offense, the Badgers need to identify some reliable pass-catchers beyond Nick Toon and Jared Abbrederis. PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Russell Wilson - After starting 36 games for North Carolina State, this 5-foot-11 dual-threat transfer makes his debut for the Badgers. Wilson has been in Wisconsin's playbook for approximately 10 weeks he didn't make his transfer choice until mid-June - so there are sure to be a few uncertain moments since he hasn't enjoyed as much as a spring ball in this offense. - The Sports Xchange

09/01/2011 - WEEK 1 FIVE ON THE SPOT: 1. QB Russell Wilson, Wisconsin...North Carolina State's coaches were apparently not happy with Wilson playing baseball in the Colorado Rockies' organization and released Wilson from his scholarship. After some deliberation, Wilson took his talents to Madison, making the Badgers a projected top-10 team. Scouts wonder if he's an NFL quarterback prospect. He measures 5 feet, 11 inches and lacks the consistent accuracy and tight spiral needed to fit the ball into tight windows at the next level. There's no doubt he'll take advantage of the Badgers' running game, using play-action to find receivers like UW's Nick Toon over the top. But unless he makes timing throws and progresses from the pocket to secondary reads, Wilson will be categorized as an athlete playing quarterback. - Chad Reuter, NFLDraftScout.com

09/01/2011 - Russell Wilson threw two touchdown passes and ran for another in his Wisconsin debut and Montee Ball scored four times to lead the 11th-ranked Badgers over UNLV 51-17 on Thursday night. All the attention was on Wilson, the North Carolina State transfer who is using his last year of eligibility at Wisconsin in hopes of getting the Badgers back to the Rose Bowl or better. Wilson shined, taking off on a 46-yard TD run that had him slipping into the end zone untouched just before halftime, then thanking every one of his offensive teammates on the bench after the play. Even with Wilson, the Badgers (1-0) are built to run. Ball and James White overwhelmed the undersized Rebels (0-1) from the start in the hottest game in the 94-year history of Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin's running game gave Wilson plenty of opportunities to pick UNLV apart, and the charismatic signal caller calmly went to the bench and sat under a giant fan flanked by a TV camera following his every move after each score. He finished 10 of 13 for 255 yards and had two rushes for 62 yards. Ball caught Wilson's first TD pass as a Badger from 4 yards out. - AP Sports

08/30/2011 - Wisconsin has high expectations after winning a share of the Big Ten title and a berth in the Rose Bowl last year. Whether the Badgers can meet those goals may partly depend on their quarterback, who was playing in another conference in 2010. Russell Wilson will make his debut for the 11th-ranked Badgers when they host UNLV on Thursday night. Wisconsin capped an 11-2 season with a 21-19 loss to TCU in the Rose Bowl. Despite losing six starters on offense, including quarterback Scott Tolzien, and five on defense, the Badgers aren't expecting a letdown. One factor in their chances of reaching the first Big Ten title game will be how well Wilson fits in. The fifth-year senior left North Carolina State after coach Tom O'Brien wanted the three-year starter to be more committed to the program and participate in spring drills rather than play minor league baseball for the Colorado Rockies. Wilson passed for 3,563 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2010 while leading the Wolfpack to a 23-7 victory over West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl. He signed with Wisconsin at the end of June, and despite only having a few months to learn the new system, his teammates have been impressed. "He has a very high football IQ," receiver Nick Toon said. "He came in and picked up the offense pretty fast and meshed with the team. In a sense, it has felt like he has been here as long as anyone else." The Badgers averaged a school-record 41.5 points last season, scoring 70 or more three times, but Wilson won't be tasked with doing it all. They also return two running backs who rushed for over 900 yards in James White (1,052 yards and 14 touchdowns) and Montee Ball (996 yards, 18 TDs). - AP Sports

08/23/2011 - After guiding Wisconsin's offense for the last two years, Johnny Unitas Award winner Scott Tolzien signed a free-agent contract with the San Diego Chargers. While obviously he's focused on earning an NFL job, Tolzien couldn't help but take a moment to text Badgers head coach Bret Bielema. The topic? Quarterback Russell Wilson, who transferred into Wisconsin in June after starting the last three years at North Carolina State. "He kind of summed it up best," Bielema told reporters on July 28 at the Big Ten media confab. "He goes, 'I can't wait to see what happens.' " Neither can Badger Nation. Neither can the Big Ten though the 11 other teams are less than excited to see the Badgers get Wilson. Heck, even the race for the national championship might change course with W?ilson in a Wisconsin uniform. Here's why it's such a big deal: Wisconsin finished spring ball with redshirt sophomore Jon Budmayr as the No. 1 quarterback with nothing but untested freshmen behind him. Budmayr, who didn't exactly seize the job with an uneven showing in spring, has just 10 pass attempts on his resume anyway. Enter Wilson. After piling up 8,545 passing yards and 76 touchdowns in three years as N.C. State's starter, Wilson wore out his welcome in Raleigh, N.C., because he wanted to pursue a professional baseball career. The Colorado Rockies' fourth-round pick was playing second base for the Class A Asheville Tourists in late June when he decided to put baseball on the backburner in order to finish his college football career. Because he earned his degree at N.C. State and picked a different field of study at Wisconsin, he can play immediately. - The Sports Xchange

08/23/2011 - Bielema declined to speculate as to whether Wilson will play immediately, though it's hard to imagine otherwise. "Just the way I'm wired, I don't think one player swings anything," Bielema said. "He was a three-year starter at N.C. State. He's never been at Wisconsin. To see that come about in the next couple weeks is going to be very important. Every indicator is that he's a great kid that has obviously a lot of talent. Whether he fits in or not is going to be determined in the next couple of weeks." Wilson offers a solution at one of the few positions that didn't appear to be a superlative at the end of spring ball. The Badgers boast two terrific running backs in Montee Ball and James White, a third-year wideout in Nick Toon and several veteran linemen. The defense welcomes back six starters and the Badgers also feature fourth-year starters at punter and kicker. Overall, Wisconsin's collection of talent (and Ohio State's recent off-field troubles) make Bielema's bunch the solid favorite in the first Leaders Division race. According to a poll in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which asked 24 Big Ten beat writers to predict the standings, 22 voted for the Badgers to win the division. Eleven writers chose Wisconsin to win the inaugural Big Ten title game on Dec. 3 in Indianapolis. - The Sports Xchange

08/23/2011 - It's an indelible image imprinted on Russell Wilson's mind: Harrison Wilson III in full sprint down a high school football sideline striding step-for-step with Harrison Wilson IV as he bolted 80 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. Strong faith, perseverance and a tireless work ethic are three critical life lessons Harrison Wilson III and wife Tammy passed on to their three children. So when it came time for Russell Wilson to decide between honing his baseball skills and playing one final collegiate football season to enhance his NFL dream, faith chased the choice. "I prayed a lot about it every day and kept going back and forth, and the Lord just came to me," said Wilson, who briefly played minor league baseball with the Asheville (N.C.) Tourists, a Colorado Rockies' Class A affiliate. "I really realized that I need to do this - give myself an opportunity to play in the NFL - and go back and play football. It's a realistic opportunity for me and I didn't want to give up on that." Wilson completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications in three years at North Carolina State. As a junior last season, he threw for 28 touchdowns and 3,663 yards en route to all-ACC Conference second team honors. His three-year career statistics with the Wolfpack include 9,628 yards of offense and 93 touchdowns. Wilson's aspirations to dabble in baseball and football caused N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien to release him from his scholarship in April due to the fact that baseball obligations kept Wilson away from offseason football workouts. - Tammy Madsen, CBSSports.com

08/23/2011 - MOST IMPORTANT PLAYER: QB Russell Wilson - After anticipated starting QB Jon Budmayr struggled with his accuracy during spring ball, Wisconsin fans feared the offense might be close to one-dimensional this fall. But when Wilson announced his transfer from North Carolina State in late June, suddenly the Badgers attack had even more versatility than last year's crew that averaged 41.5 points per game. Not only can Wilson throw the ball all over the field, he adds a running aspect to the offense that former QB Scott Tolzien rarely employed. - The Sports Xchange

08/08/2011 - Russell Wilson is not fazed by the hype created by his move to Wisconsin. Wilson says Sunday at the Badgers' media day that he is "not really worried about" the pressure, despite being touted as the final piece to a national championship puzzle, or at the very least a Big Ten Conference championship game victory. "The most important thing is putting the work in; do something special every day in terms of my work ethic," Wilson said. "Be special, don't do the average. Don't do good, do great. That's my mindset." Wilson left North Carolina State after coach Tom O'Brien wanted the three-year starter to be more committed to the program and participate in spring drills rather than play minor league baseball for the Colorado Rockies. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound Wilson has already graduated from N.C. State, so he is eligible to play right away in 2011 without sitting out under normal transfer rules after picking Wisconsin over Auburn on June 27. Wilson has only one year of eligibility remaining and also less than a month before Wisconsin hosts UNLV in its season opener on Sept. 1. Despite a short acclimation period since arriving in Madison last month, Wilson said he is as eager as the fans and his teammates to see what happens this season. "When I first got here, I had a team meeting and told the guys I'm here to work," he said. "I'm here to put in the effort every single day and put in the extra work as well. "More than anything, it's been about getting to know the guys and getting ready for the season physically. I've been working out, running and lifting and getting to know Madison a little bit. I've never been here. It's a great city and great atmosphere. I can't wait to play here. It should be fun." - AP Sports

07/19/2011 - 2011 DAVEY O'BRIEN PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Russell Wilson, Wisconsin, Big Ten, has been named one of 38 of the nation's top collegiate quarterbacks selected to the 2011 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Preseason Watch List based on player performance during the previous year and expectations heading into the 2011 college football season. The Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award (The O'Brien) is presented annually to the nation's best college quarterback and is the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award. - The Davey O'Brien Foundation

07/08/2011 - 2011 MAXWELL AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Russell Wilson, Wisconsin, QB, Sr., has been selected by the The Maxwell Football Club to the 2011 Watch list for the Maxwell Award, which has annually honored college football's most outstanding player since 1937. Semifinalists for the Maxwell will be announced October 31st and the three finalists will be unveiled November 21st. Wilson, a transfer from North Carolina State, threw for 3,563 yards and 28 touchdowns last season in leading the Wolfpack to a 9-4 record and win over West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl. - Wisconsin football

06/28/2011 - The Wisconsin Badgers officially signed former North Carolina State standout quarterback Russell Wilson yesterday. The two-time All-ACC pick was released from his committment to the Wolfpack after he elected to focus on his baseball career. Apparently Wilson, the Colorado Rockies' fourth round pick last summer, hasn't been happy with his development with the Class A Asheville Tourists, where he's played second base and hit a disappointing .228. Because of the fact that he graduated during his four years at NC State, Wilson has one more year of football eligibility remaining and will take graduate classes at Wisconsin. The Badgers and reigning BCS champs Auburn were considered the two favorites to land Wilson, who led the ACC with 3,563 passing yards last season. At 5-11 and 190 pounds, Wilson's best chance at a pro future might be with baseball. Despite his lack of preferred size for the NFL, however, Wilson is a terrific college quarterback. His statistics and wins against rival North Carolina (3-0 in his career) are impressive, but don't due him justice. Elusive, intelligent and possessing a strong enough arm to take advantage of Wisconsin's aerial targets - including Nick Toon - NFLDraftScout.com's No. 4 rated senior wideout for the 2012 draft, Wilson could be a coup for Bret Bielema and his staff. Wilson's lack of size won't bring NFL scouts crawling out of the woodwork this fall as much as his success on the field might lead one to believe. For the Badgers, however, who were struggling in the spring to find a replacement for Scott Tolzien, Wilson could be the perfect addition. In fact, his addition to the team could make Wisconsin the favorite to repeat as the Big Ten representative in the Rose Bowl. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

06/27/2011 - Russell Wilson, a three-year starter at quarterback for North Carolina State, has decided to play football for Wisconsin this fall, sources told the Journal Sentinel this morning. He is scheduled to appear on ESPN's "College Football Live" TV show at 2:30 this afternoon and make his announcement. Wilson, who had been trying to decide between baseball and football, left the Class A Asheville Tourists this morning. He had been taken in the fourth round of Major League Baseball's draft last summer by the Colorado Rockies and was released from his scholarship by the Wolfpack in the spring. Because Wilson graduated in four years from North Carolina State, he will be eligible to play one more season of college football. Wilson had narrowed his choices to either the Badgers or Auburn. He visited both schools. Wilson, 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, completed 682 of 1,180 passes (57.8%) for the Wolfpack. He finished with 8,545 passing yards, 76 touchdowns and only 26 interceptions. He also rushed 362 times for 1,089 yards (3.0 yards per carry) and 17 touchdowns. He was a first-team All-ACC pick as a freshman in 2008 and a second-team pick as a fourth-year junior last season. At Asheville, Wilson batted .228 with three home runs and 15 RBI. UW must replace two-year starter Scott Tolzien, who last season completed 72.9% of his passes for 2,459 yards, with 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. - Jeff Potrykus, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

06/27/2011 - Former North Carolina State quarterback Russell Wilson is headed to Wisconsin, potentially solving one of the biggest trouble spots standing between the Badgers and a Big Ten title. Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said Monday that Wilson will compete for the Badgers' starting job in the fall. The two-sport star most recently played in the Colorado Rockies' minor league system but apparently is ready to hang up his baseball spikes. "This is an unusual situation, especially for a program that prides itself on developing players throughout their careers, as we do here at Wisconsin," Bielema said in a statement released by the school. "However, this is a special situation and Russell is the type of player and person that fits very well with our team." Wilson has one year of eligibility remaining and can play right away. He will attend graduate school at UW. Wilson's arrival could fill a glaring need for the Badgers, who must replace the solid play of quarterback Scott Tolzien after their run to the Rose Bowl. Wilson could make the Badgers a favorite in the conference. Wisconsin's offense failed to score a touchdown in the spring game in April as prospective starters Jon Budmayr and Joe Brennan both struggled under center. Joel Stave appeared to be the sharpest quarterback of the bunch in the spring game, but he is a true freshman. Bielema said at the time that those three quarterbacks "aren't anywhere where we need them to be for us to be a competitive team in the fall." In his three seasons with the Wolfpack, Wilson threw for 8,545 yards and 76 touchdowns with 26 interceptions. In 13 games for the Wolfpack last season, Wilson completed 58.4 percent of his passes for 3,563 yards with 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Wilson also rushed for 435 yards and nine touchdowns last season. The 5-11, 201-pound Wilson is a native of Richmond, Va. - AP Sports

06/12/2011 - Wisconsin inadvertently committed an NCAA violation related to the recruitment of former North Carolina State quarterback Russell Wilson. However, the violation appears to be minor and should not affect Wilson's eligibility or prevent him from transferring to UW if he chooses. Wilson visited UW on Tuesday and Wednesday and met with the coaches and several players. According to NCAA rules, "member institutions" are not allowed to comment publicly on an unsigned recruit. UW officials have declined to comment on the recruitment of Wilson. However, senior wide receiver Nick Toon on Friday was approached by a TV reporter during the WIAA state team tennis tournament at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. All player interviews are expected to be cleared through UW's athletic communications department but Toon, who was at the tournament to watch the younger brother of a close friend, politely said he would answer a few questions. Asked about Wilson's visit to UW, Toon said: "Whenever you can bring someone in of his caliber it is going to add some competition at the quarterback spot. And competition brings out the best in everybody and that's great. Hopefully he comes here. "I met him last week. He seems to be a great guy. I liked him a lot. Hopefully we'll see him in a Wisconsin uniform next fall." Wilson, who passed for 8,545 yards and 76 touchdowns in three seasons as a starter with the Wolfpack, reportedly visited Auburn last month. However, according to a source UW is the leader for his services. - Jeff Potrykus, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel