In 2012, the Seattle Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson during the third round of the draft. Experts claimed that he would have been a higher pick if he was taller. Nevertheless, there were many skeptics saying that he would never make it in the NFL. After four seasons, he is not only one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL but one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, already! With multiple Super Bowls and Pro Bowls under his belt, Wilson is in rare company in a variety of ways. Here are 20 of them:
Became Extremely Religious Following a Dream
In 2010, Wilson’s father passed away from complications related to diabetes. This had a major impact on Wilson’s life as they had a close relationship. Wilson looked to the Christian faith to help guide him through the difficult times. In his younger years, he was actually not religious at all. It wasn’t until the age of 14 years old when he said Jesus came to him in a dream one night. Ever since that time, he has looked to the cloth for help and guidance.
Big Fan of Gospel Music
As a result of his faith, Wilson has become a huge fan of gospel music. Although he does not sing in a church choir (that we know of), he has appreciated any connection to the church that is available. In this case, the connection is music. He particularly likes the musical works of Kirk Franklin and Lamar Campbell who really connect to his life.
Close with Pete Carroll
Fans always assume that NFL quarterbacks and head coaches have an extremely close relationships. However, that is not always the case as they may not see eye-to-eye on certain plays or offensive play calling. In the case of Russell Wilson, there may not be a closer player-coach team than Wilson and Head Coach Pete Carroll. In many interviews, Wilson has admitted that Carroll is like a father figure to him and they text regularly, even when in different time zones. It is good to have this type of relationship with your coach so you can get on the same wavelength during the game.
Drafted by the Colorado Rockies
In 2007, Wilson was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles at the end of High School but made the decision to attend North Carolina State University instead. Then, in 2010, he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies and actually played 93 games as a second basemen for the Single-A affiliates. In a publicity stunt, the Texas Rangers acquired Wilson in 2013 during the Rule 5 draft.
First Player in NFL Playoff History to Throw 4 INT’s and the Game-Winning TD
While playing against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game, Wilson had one of his worst games in history by throwing four interceptions. Regardless of this terrible performance, he continued to believe in the team that was backing him up and led them to a 28-22 overtime victory which secured the team in back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. During the Seahawks’ remaining here possession, Wilson completed 6-of-7 passes for 114 yards which included the game-winning 35-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse which boosted his passer rating to 158.3
Highest Career Passer Rating in First Three Seasons
Wilson’s 98.3 career passer rating, is the highest in NFL history through his fist three seasons. In addition to this amazing statistic, his 8.16 AY/A (Adjusted Yards per Passing Attempt) is also the highest for a quarterback during his first three seasons in the most number of games played. If you compare Wilson to Kurt Warner, who only played in 28 games during his first three seasons, compared to Wilson’s 48), he had a passer rating of 104.0, Y/A (Yard per Attempt) of 9.13 and a AY/A of 8.95.
Highest Number of Wins during First Three Seasons
Of course wins is a team statistic but it all starts with the quarterback who is the leader on the field. Would Seattle have had more wins if they started Tarvaris Jackson or Matt Flynn in the first three seasons, not likely. Wilson is responsible for at least several of those wins, in addition to six additional wins in the playoffs.
Highest Playoff Y/A in NFL History
During his first three seasons, Wilson had the fifth highest passer rating behind some pretty big names including Aaron Rodgers, Bart Starr, Kurt Warner and Drew Brees. As he plays in more playoff games, it is likely that those numbers will drop. However, he will also be playing in more playoff games which is great for his development and the advancement of his career. Wilson’s playoff yards per attempt during his first three seasons of playoff appearances was 9.01, the highest in NFL history. Nevertheless, his first three seasons were unmatched by the majority of NFL quarterbacks in history.
Highly Involved in the Seattle Community
Wilson is considered to be a stable in the Seattle community. He is regularly seen doing humanitarian and charity work during his spare time. In fact, he spends a significant amount of time at the Seattle Children’s Hospital. Every Tuesday, he goes down to the hospital and spends time with the kids. He says that the time he spends with the children are the best part of his week. Wilson is considered to be a very good guy on and off the field. This is just one of the many examples of his work.
Most Experienced Playoff QB through Three Seasons
In his first three seasons, Wilson played in a total of eight playoff games which is one more than Joe Flacco through his first three seasons. The greatest difference is that Flacco threw four touchdowns and seven interceptions with a 61.6 passer rating in those games. On the other hand, Wilson threw 12 touchdowns and six interceptions for a total passer rating of 97.8 during his playoff career. Of those eight playoff games, Wilson had six wins which are the most of any quarterback in their first three years. It also led to the Seahawks comeback against the Falcons in one of his loses.
In comparison, in Tom Brady’s first playoff appearance, he had only one touchdown in three games with a passer rating of 77.3, despite the team winning the Super Bowl. To play in eight playoff games in your first three seasons and maintain a 9.01 yards per attempt is a remarkable feat that most other quarterbacks have not experienced.
Most Regular Season Wins by a Starting QB in his First Three Seasons
Winning 36 regular season games in your first three seasons is an incredible accomplishment. Since 1966, this is the most regular season wins during any starting quarterback’s first three seasons. Wilson has outpaced Matt Ryan, Dan Marino and Andrew Luck; each of whom racked up 33 regular season wins during their first three years in the NFL.
Obsessed with the Television Show Entourage
Besides football and baseball, one of Wilson’s greatest passion is the HBO show, “Entourage.” In fact, he loves the show so much, he was even able to have a cameo appearance in the movie that hit theaters in 2015. Also, after being drafted out of Wisconsin by the Seattle Seahawks, he celebrated his incredible accomplishment by watching the show. He has almost as much dedication to the show as he does to his daily craft.
One of the Luckiest Players
It is of no coincidence that this statistic has landed on lucky number 13. Wilson is considered to be one of the luckiest players in the league. In the 2015 season (regular season and postseason), Wilson fumbled 13 times and every single fumble was recovered by Seattle. Either someone is watching over Wilson or the team has excellent awareness of the football. Both could certainly be possibilities.
Set College Football Record at Wisconsin
During his single year at the University of Wisconsin, Wilson set the single-season college football record for passing efficiency with a 191.8 rating. This single year of football at a powerhouse school gave him the exposure needed to enter into the draft. Although the he was drafted during the later rounds, he has since proven to the world that he belongs in the NFL as he has become one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
Throws a TD Pass Once Every 17.38 Pass Attempts
This is an exceptional statistic given the Hall-of-Fame names he is surrounded by. In comparison, Dan Marino threw one touchdown every 14.56 pass attempts during his first three seasons in the NFL. Peyton Manning threw one touchdown every 19.75 attempts and Andrew Luck is at 21.08. Therefore, Wilson’s statistic is excellent and is often indicative of a successful career ahead.
Took Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl
Once Wilson determined that his future was in football, he decided to play one season with the Wisconsin Badgers and almost led the team to the school’s first National Championship. Although they did not win, the Badgers won the Big Ten Championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl. The end result was a loss to the Oregon Ducks.
Was Part of the Second-Largest Age Difference in Super Bowl History
During his second super bowl appearance again the New England Patriots, Wilson was 26-years-old and Tom Brady, the Patriots’ starting quarterback, was 37-years-old and in his 15th season in the NFL. This 11-year age difference was the second largest amongst starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl history. The largest age difference between starting quarterbacks was, ironically, 25-year-old Wilson against 37-year-old Peyton Manning one year prior. The Super Bowl win during that season made Wilson the third-youngest quarterback to ever start and win a Super Bowl.
Writes for the Players’ Tribune
Wilson is talented on and off of the field. He is a senior editor at The Players’ Tribune which is a website that was launched in October 2014 by Derek Jeter, the former New York Yankees Hall-of-Fame shortstop. This is a project that provides athletes with a voice online to better connect them with fans. Being that Wilson is a former baseball player who grew up a huge Jeter fan, submitted an article to the site which provided a first-person viewpoint of his approach to football. It is actually a really interesting read.
1 of 2 Players with Over 50 Passing TD’s and Over 1,000 Rushing Yards in Two Years
During his first two seasons, Wilson threw 52 touchdowns and had 1,028 rushing yards that put him in the same conversation as the only other player in NFL history, besides Randall Cunningham, to achieve over 50 touchdown passes and over 1,000 rushing yards during a two-year timeframe. Even contributing to this number as a rookie is an amazing undertaking. Coming out onto the field each week in front of tens of thousands of fans and performing under a tremendous amount of pressure is not easy to initially adjust to but Wilson made it happen.
1 of 3 QB’s to throw over 50 TD’s His First Two Seasons
Wilson is one of only three quarterbacks ever to throw for over 50 scores during his first two season in the NFL. From 2012 to 2013, Wilson threw 52 touchdown passes and joined the ranks of future Hall of Famer Dan Marino and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning as the only players to ever achieve this accomplishment.
Russell Wilson is a bright star with an incredible career ahead of him. Even though he has only been in the league for a short period of time, Wilson has already broken some records and even entered into the same conversation as existing and future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Wilson’s days of baseball proved that his a natural athlete who has found his niche as the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson is always exciting to watch and fans are regularly watching history being made when he steps onto the field.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker