June 8, 2010

Russell Wilson intends to play football next fall

A few hours after being drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round, rising redshirt junior quarterback Russell Wilson held a teleconference with the media to discuss his future.

Wilson made it clear that he intends on signing with the Colorado Rockies but also playing football with NC State this fall. Here is a transcript from Wilson's teleconference as well as a few questions taken by head football coach Tom O'Brien] afterward.

RUSSELL WILSON

Opening statement

"Basically I got drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round. I'm pretty excited about it. It really is truly a blessing for me. I've been working my whole life to be in this situation now. I'm looking forward to getting out there, but also I plan on getting back here and playing football this fall."

What were your initial thoughts when you found out you were selected?

"I definitely was really excited. I kind of put it into the Lord's hands and didn't really worry about it. I've been talking to several different teams and the Rockies really liked me."

What have you thought about when you might sign?

"I'm not worried about that right now. I'm just kind of focused on my family and everything and just think about the opportunity that I have that was presented to me today. We'll kind of figure that out down the road."

How definitive are you that you are going to come back to play football?

"As definitive as I can be. I'm really excited about it. Right now, as I said, it's a blessing to have an opportunity to play Major League Baseball and get drafted in the fourth round by the Colorado Rockies, but I also want to come back and win an ACC championship for the football team. I don't want to put a lot of pressure on us, but I'm excited about it like I said and I can't wait."

How have you been able to balance all this? Do you have a favorite you kind of lean to between football or baseball?

"Both are my love. Both are the top of my priorities. I really love them both. When I step on the football field I really focus on what I am doing and I try to do the best I can. When I'm playing quarterback I try to do throw the both accurately, try to throw as many touchdowns as I can. I try not to turn the football over. That's what I try do in games, put my team in a good position.

"When I'm on the baseball field, I do the best I can to help my team win and do the best I can every time. That's how I looked at my whole life no matter what I'm doing. I'm going to do my best and represent my team well, represent myself well, represent the school well. Now I represent the Colorado Rockies well. I'm definitely getting excited about it. That's why it's a great opportunity for me and why the Lord's blessed me with this opportunity."

Are the Rockies worried about a potential conflict with football?

"The Rockies and I have both talked and they really like me and really want me. It's a day-by-day thing. I'm really excited about it, and I can't wait to get out there and play."

Have you talked to Coach O'Brien and what was his reaction to the news today?

"Coach O'Brien was very excited for me. He understands I have been playing baseball my whole life and everything, and I've also been playing football my whole life. He knows that I love football and I love NC State. It's a great place for me. At the same time, it's a great opportunity to play Major League Baseball.

"He's a great guy. I really appreciate him and everything he's done for me here at NC State. He's definitely really excited for me and the opportunity."

How difficult of a decision was this for you, and in retrospect do you have any regrets about not playing spring football?

"I said I never look back on anything in terms of decisions I've made in terms of football and baseball. I think that everything has worked out in the right time, the right opportunity, the right place and everything. When I first committed to NC State, I really wanted to come here. I had the opportunity to play professional baseball out of high school. It didn't work out. I wasn't necessarily down about it, but I always wondered what would have happened. Once I got here, I just put 100 percent into everything I did in terms of football and baseball. It's really led me to a great opportunity, a great situation.

"So I think that Coach O'Brien and Coach Avent have both done a great job of helping me get to this point. I'm going to keep working hard. I haven't reached my dreams yet. I haven't reached what I am planning to do yet. I am going to continue to reach for it and continue to accomplish it."

You intend to play baseball this summer and then come back and play football this fall?

"I fully intend to play baseball this summer and have every intentions of coming back and playing football this fall and try to win an ACC championship."

Have you discussed with the Rockies contract figures yet?

"I haven't discussed any figures yet, and that's between me and them. I haven't done that yet, no sir."

Any idea when you start playing baseball?

"I haven't talked to them about that yet, either."

What's the timeline Russell, when do you want to get started back here with football?

"First of all I am going to go home see my family, be with my family, spend a couple of days with them and everything like that. Then I am going to go out to Colorado, get out there, meet everybody, do everything I need to do out there and get ready for baseball.

"As the summer season goes on, I'll have to come back for football. I know camp starts Aug. 3. I haven't talked to the Rockies, and I haven't gotten into detailed conversation with Coach O'Brien about that yet either. We'll figure all that out, and like I said the Lord has worked everything out for me so far, and I expect Him to continue to do things for me."

Did you have any expectations for where you might be drafted and specifically did you feel like the Rockies were a team that were interested?

"I knew they were. They have been on me all year ever since I was in high school. There were several other teams that really liked me that were going to try to get me early.

"I didn't want to put any expectations on it though. In high school a lot of teams wanted me early as well. It wasn't going to happen. It all worked out well for me. I didn't end up getting drafted until the 41st round out of high school and it was a blessing for me.

"I'm really excited for this situation I am in now. I really didn't have any expectations for exactly where I was going to get drafted because I didn't know how it worked, but it was perfect place, perfect timing, everything."

Do you think they are going to let you play football?

"Like I said that's all between me and the Colorado Rockies, but yeah that's going to work out just fine. I'm not worried about it. I can't wait to get out there."

Does that mean you'll only play one more year of football?

"I haven't gotten into that yet. I just got drafted. I'm just focusing on the next today and what I have to do after today and the next thing tomorrow and that's all. The Lord is going to let me know when the right time to continue football in the NFL or continue baseball in the major leagues or do both. I'm not really worried about that now and I can't be worried about that now. Like I said, I want to be the best in everything I plan to do. The way to do that is focus on one thing at a time, and I plan on doing that for the rest of my life."

You played outfield and pitched a litte, where do they intend to play you?

"Up the middle, second base or center field."

The Rockies already have two college football quarterbacks in their starting lineup.

"It's pretty cool. Kyle Parker got drafted in the first round. It's pretty exciting for him. I'm excited for him. The Colorado Rockies are known for taking quarterbacks. It's a good thing for me.

"I don't want to be looked at just a quarterback when I get there. I'm a baseball player when I'm there and a football player when I'm here. That's the most important thing."

Do you feel you will be ready to play quarterback this year?

"Definitely, I am going to be working out there still wherever I am, I am going to be working out just like I did past summer, getting my legs ready, getting my arms ready and everything like that, my conditioning. I'll be ready to go, no matter what. I'm always going to put myself in the best way to be successful in everything I do in life so that's what I am going to do."

Are you prepared to only play for the Rockies or only play for NC State if it comes to that? Have you stated your intentions to the Rockies that you would like to do both?

"As I said earlier, they know my situation. They know that I play football and baseball. They know that I love to play football. They know that I've been in this situation. They drafted me because they like me, they want me as a baseball player, but they know my football status. As I've said we've already talked and we'll continue to talk to try and figure this thing out. Like I said I'm just excited about them. The organization is a great team to play for."

Do you feel more ready now that you've had some success than you would've have you signed out of high school?

"I think it definitely helped. I was pretty mature out of high school but at the same time I have gotten a little bit stronger, a little bit of faster. In terms of mentally, working with Coach O'Brien on the football field I think has prepared me for life, and same with Coach Bible, working for him. That's really gotten me ready for everything in terms of performing, in terms of being in front of 60,000, 80,000 people. That's helped me. I still have big dreams. Just being drafted is not my ultimate dream. I have a lot more things I want to do with my life that I'm going to do. They've really helped me in that step. Coach Avent has helped me as well."

Have they talked to you about where you might start, what level?

"Not yet, the draft process is still going on and everything. They're just excited to have me. I'm excited to be on their team, their organization. We'll figure that out down the road."

Were you ever concerned you may not get this opportunity again with your role wavering a little bit on the baseball team?

"To be honest I wasn't concerned. I had to keep my eyes on the right things and working hard each and every day. Each and every day when I was out in batting practice I worked my butt off to get better on fly balls, ground balls, whatever it was in terms of BP. If I was playing or not, my goal was to mentally never change, never have my ups and downs that I should be playing or I want to play. I wanted to win. That's my competitive nature, and I continue to want the same thing no matter what field I'm on, whether it's football or baseball. I always want to win, and that's the main goal. If I have that mindset I'll be successful more times than not."

Have you had a chance to talk to Kyle Parker?

"I haven't talked to him that much. I see him every once in a while on the field. We haven't talked that much but I'm sure we will in the upcoming future. He's a great player. He's a great player on the football field. He goes to a great school at Clemson. He's a great player on the baseball field as well. He's done a great job. I'm proud of him. It would be great to play with him one day."

Would you encourage him to play just to play baseball and give up football?

"It has nothing to do with trying to convince him to do one thing or not. You got to do what's best for your life and what the Lord has planned for you. The Lord has planned a lot of things in my life and I continue to want to follow them and pursue them and reach those goals."

TOM O'BRIEN

Russell stated his intentions he would like to continue to both. Do you think that Russell needs to be prepared that it could only be football or baseball, and are you prepared for that?

"I think certainly. He called me this afternoon and told me he's been drafted, and I congratulated him. He said, 'But I want to play football.' I said, 'That's great' because that's basically what he's been saying to me throughout the spring multiple times that he wanted to come back and play this year.

"I think there are a lot of things that have to be discussed, but one thing I know about Russell is if he wants to play football, that's pretty much what he's going to do. I'm not sure what the Major League Baseball situation is, how long he has to be with the Rockies or anything like that. I don't even know if he's planning on staying after football season. I think the last time we talked he just wanted to play football.

"I don't know. We're going to sit down tomorrow. There's a lot of things we have to discuss from the NCAA standpoint that he's able to do. We have to get all those things ironed out. As far as we've talked today he has no agent, he's signed no contract, he's taken no money. There's some of those issues that have to be resolved. I don't think there are any questions in his mind in multiple conversation in the past couple of hours with me and Coach Bible that he wants to play football."

Have you had anything close to this before?

"No, not really, but Russell is a little bit exceptional in everything he does, but it's worthwhile."

Given the fact he has been a starter for two years, does he need to be there at the first day of camp or can he come in later on?

"No, I think it would be best for him and best for us that he be here when camp starts for a lot of reasons, not just for him but for this football team."


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