It's special when a grad of a summer-collegiate ranks makes the bigs, but Russell Wilson, formerly of the Gastonia Grizzlies (Coastal Plain League), is going beyond that: he's starting today for the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.
Wilson, who led the Wisconsin Badgers to the Rose Bowl last season, began his collegiate career as a football and baseball player at North Carolina State; it was then he played for the Grizzlies in 2009. Initially he saw baseball as his career route: He was drafted in the fourth round by Colorado Rockies in 2010, playing 93 games between the Tri-City Dust Devils (short season A; Northwest League) and the Asheville Tourists (Low Class A: Sally League, batting .229 with 26 RBIs and 58 runs scored
But football beckoned, and thanks to some quirks in the NCAA eligibility rules. he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin. His performances there led the Seahawks to draft him in the third round (75th pick overall). He won the starting job this preseason over Matt Flynn, the former Packer QB signed in the offseason, and will be on the field when the Seahawks take on the Arizona Cardinals later this afternoon.
While with the Grizzlies, Wilson started 24 of 25 games, and finished batting .205 with three RBIs and 14 runs scored. He also had three doubles, was walked 11 times and stole 12 bases.
Image courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks.
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