Russell Wilson, a 5-foot-11 former third-round pick who developed into a top-caliber, Super Bowl-winning NFL quarterback, recently returned to his alma mater to address the recent graduates of Wisconsin. During his commencement speech, Wilson not only gave away some valuable advice, but he also addressed how the end to his career at North Carolina State, a school he attended prior to his Wisconsin days, came to a close.
Let's start with that advice, which is guaranteed to bring up some bad memories for the 12s.
"If you're playing the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl and you've got 26 seconds left and you're down by four and it's second-and-goal on their 1-yard line, try not to throw an interception," Wilson said, according to ESPN's Sheil Kapadia. "That's purely, purely hypothetical though, of course."
So that's not the worst advice ever, even if it's applicable to zero graduates.
Here's the video that puts Wilson's comment in context, which -- again -- is sure to bring up bad memories for Seahawks fans, so maybe avoid clicking that link if you're from Seattle. Just a quick reminder, though: The Seahawks' second straight Super Bowl was gift-wrapped (they were on the 1-yard line) when Wilson threw a last-second interception to Malcolm Butler. Wilson later said that God spoke to him after the interception and told him, "I'm using you ... I want to see how you respond. But most importantly, I want them to see how you respond."
As for Wilson's NC State days, he says his career ended when his former coach told him he wouldn't play in the NFL.
"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. 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 transferred to Wisconsin and the rest is -- not to sound cliche, but we are talking about Russell Wilson here -- history. He led Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl (they lost), got drafted by the Seahawks in the third round, surprisingly beat out Matt Flynn ( remember him?) in the preseason, and is now one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
Anyway, here's one last piece of important advice from Wilson:
"Of course, I'm also here to share some things I've learned -- things like if you're dating a woman that's way out of your league, ask her to marry you."
Wilson is engaged to Ciara.
Wink of the CBS eye to ESPN for transcribing Wilson's speech