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Russell Wilson one of two to have Wolfpack jerseys honored

Russell Wilson AP

Russell Wilson may not have finished his playing career at North Carolina State, but there are apparently no hard feelings between the two sides.

NCSU announced via a press release that the reigning Super Bowl-winning quarterback, along with former defensive standout Mario Williams, will have their respective jerseys — No. 16 for the former, No. 9 for the latter — honored to commemorate their Wolfpack playing careers.  The release stated that the jersey numbers “will continue to be worn by standout Wolfpack players.”  However, “[i]n the future, any player designated by the head coach to wear those numbers will also wear a patch honoring Wilson or Williams.”

Wilson will have his jersey honored during the April 12 spring game.

Russell Wilson Mario Williams“This is truly an amazing honor and I am looking forward to being back in Raleigh and Carter-Finley Stadium,” Wilson said in a statement. “My experience at NC State was an amazing one playing football and baseball but also accomplishing my goal of graduating in three years. My memories of playing as the quarterback for the Wolfpack are never-ending and the roar of the Wolfpack Nation still rings in my ear from memorable wins against FSU and UNC!

“I learned the value of great leadership, ultimate sacrifice, and the relentless belief that hard work pays off. I am grateful for all of my amazing teammates and players past, present, and future. I can still taste and sense the blood, sweat, and tears we all sacrificed to be successful.”

While Wilson began his career at NCSU as an All-ACC performer, he finished it at Wisconsin after transferring to the Badgers in July of 2011 for his final season of collegiate eligibility.  Prior to that transfer, some type of “situation” between Wilson and then-head coach Tom O’Brien over baseball had developed, leading to the school granting Wilson a release from his scholarship in April of 2011.

Williams was a first-team All-American and two-time All-ACC player for the Wolfpack, parlaying that outstanding playing career into the overall No. 1 pick in the 2006 NFL draft.  He was the first — and still only — player from the ACC to claim that honor.

Williams’ jersey will be honored at a to-be-determined regular season home game.

“These two players had outstanding careers for the Wolfpack and have gone on to do great things in the National Football League,” said head coach Dave Doeren.  “We, along with our passionate Wolfpack fans, are so proud of them and their accomplishments and wanted to permanently honor them by adding their names to the State greats on display inside Carter-Finley Stadium.

“The recognition patch is an even more visible way to honor their contributions, because every time a player wearing those numbers steps on the field, he will carry their name on his uniform.”

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16 Responses to “Russell Wilson one of two to have Wolfpack jerseys honored”
  1. tigers182 says: Mar 25, 2014 2:48 PM

    Don’t college teams usually retire numbers based on how good they do in the pros, to sound like they produce these great players? Why else would Wilson, who transferred away to another team, be honored?

  2. manik56 says: Mar 25, 2014 3:18 PM

    How are NC State people not embarressed by this? Wilson did next to nothing for them on the field, was ran out of town by his coach, goes to a Rose Bowl for a different school, then pulls a Trent Dilfer/Brad Johnson and is on a Super Bowl winner. I would say act like you have been there before, but they clearly haven’t.

  3. meatcarroll says: Mar 25, 2014 3:33 PM

    “then pulls a Trent Dilfer/Brad Johnson and is on a Super Bowl winner”

    What? Wilson is tied with Peyton Manning for 2nd most all time TDs over their first 2 seasons, behind only Dan Marino.

  4. mudhead123 says: Mar 25, 2014 3:38 PM

    NC State sucked with Wilson. Why is he being honored?

  5. mudhead123 says: Mar 25, 2014 3:39 PM

    Here comes meatcarrol. Wilson is an average QB and will continue to show that.

  6. chinahand11 says: Mar 25, 2014 3:49 PM

    Thanks Mudhead for pre-empting meatcarrol. Whew.

  7. 8to80texansblog says: Mar 25, 2014 4:13 PM

    I agree that Wilson has benefitted mightily from a being a great team. But I don’t think you can discount him as a “game manager”.

    I can’t remember the last player that came out of college that exuded as much leadership as Wilson does.

    Plus when you have a great running game and outstanding defense as Seattle does… it doesn’t make sense that he should have astronomical numbers.

    Go watch the Texans – Seahawks game from this last season when the Hawks were down 18 at half on the road. Wilson came out and won that game almost singlehandedly… (still gotta tip the cap to Sherman and that career destroying pick 6).

  8. meatcarroll says: Mar 25, 2014 4:21 PM

    “Here comes meatcarrol. Wilson is an average QB and will continue to show that.”

    Y’all peasants salty as hell that Russell Wilson is literally on pace to be a Hall of Famer, lmao!!

  9. cubano76 says: Mar 25, 2014 5:27 PM

    The Original Wilson Statement:

    ““This is truly an amazing honor and I am looking forward to being back in Raleigh and Carter-Finley Stadium without that jackwad O’Brien,” Wilson said in a statement. “My experience at NC State was an amazing one, except the fact that I played for a coach who thinks college football is the military and thus treats his players as boot camp soldiers. Playing football and baseball while graduating in three years was my goal. The fact that Coach O’Brien ran the team, i tried to graduate in two years. My memories of playing as the quarterback for the Wolfpack, when not being bitched at are never-ending and the roar of the Wolfpack Nation cheering, but mostly booing still rings in my ear from memorable wins against FSU and UNC!” So there’s that…….

    Russell

  10. iwishwvuwouldbeatbama says: Mar 25, 2014 6:09 PM

    I am surprised that Wisconsin didn’t jump on this first. It would have been a nice distraction from the crime spree their having this year! Wilson is over hyped just like Cap with the 49 ers. Both are decent but ill wait a few more years before i start stumping for the hall of fame for either of them. I would take Roethlisberger, Flacco, Ryan, and Smith over either of them.

  11. seahawksbmx says: Mar 25, 2014 7:40 PM

    Anyone that says RW is a “game manager” is ignorant and lazy. Seahawks’ OL ranked DEAD LAST in pass pro for the 2013 season (look it up). As mentioned, he is tied with Peyton for 2nd most TDs all-time in first 2 seasons and he is the ONLY QB to have a 100+ rating in his first 2 seasons. Those are not #’s a game manager puts up, nor are they #’s that have anything to do with the ‘Hawks great defense.
    He’ll rarely wow the fantasy football crowd, but in the real world I’d want nobody else leading my team.

  12. 11inthebox says: Mar 25, 2014 11:36 PM

    “He’ll rarely wow the fantasy football crowd, but in the real world I’d want nobody else leading my team.”

    Perfectly stated.

  13. 8to80texansblog says: Mar 26, 2014 12:01 PM

    “He’ll rarely wow the fantasy football crowd, but in the real world I’d want nobody else leading my team.”

    I’d take Russell Wilson over Matt Stafford any day….

  14. normtide says: Mar 26, 2014 2:08 PM

    I think that two years into his pro career is a little soon to either crown or dismiss him. Let’s see how this plays out.

  15. hodog16 says: Mar 26, 2014 5:57 PM

    To clarify as an NC State fan, Wilson had a nice career at NC State and covered many deficiencies on the team. The fact that State was not great while Wilson was there was largely due to the inability of O’Brien to recruit.

    There is nothing to be embarrassed about. O’Brien told Wilson he should be present for spring practice to be the starter after his junior year and Wilson was still interested in playing baseball. Thus O’Brien made the decision he felt that he needed to for the team which was having two years of Mike Glennon instead of one year of Wilson.

    Glennon also did a fine job and obviously is an NFL level QB, but like Wilson had no supporting cast. O’Brien survived as long as he did because for five years we had an NFL level QB that could mask deficiencies. When the lack of recruiting caught up to O’Brien, he was let go even before the bowl game that he earned his final year.

    After we lost Glennon, we went 3-9 with QBs that were not ACC caliber players.

    This is honoring the jersey and not retiring it. After Philip Rivers and Roman Gabriel (whose numbers are retired at State), Wilson is the third best QB who played at State. Honoring him now yes is likely striking while the iron is hot.

    If anything State fans are happy for Wilson because he got the exposure at Wisconsin that we could not provide. Once he got to Wisconsin the rest of the country found out what State fans had known for years.

  16. liddogg33 says: Mar 29, 2014 2:44 PM

    NC State should forever be known as the school to let RUSSELL WILSON OUT OF THE DOOR!!! Only to become CAPTAIN of a much better school and win a SUPERBOWL!! This is the very LEAST those IDIOTS could do.. What happned to Mike Glennons jersey??? HAHAHAHAHA

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