Russell Wilson Is The NFL’s Most Underrated Superstar

Football | 1/13/20

As a 75th overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, Russell Wilson was the player every team wishes they took a chance on selecting. Thanks to his shorter than average height for a quarterback, franchises didn’t want to risk it. Years later and Wilson is in the league breaking numerous records and doing it with a smile. He even did extraordinary things at the University of Wisconsin, further foreshadowing his future dominance. The MVP caliber talent has done it all, from taking his football team to multiple Super Bowls, being an MVP caliber dad and husband with his superstar wife, Ciara. Here are facts that you didn’t know about the quarterback.

Wilson Could Have Played Baseball Instead

If you weren’t aware, Russell Wilson was a duel sport athlete coming out of high school. While he might be a menace on the football field, he was brilliant on the diamond as well.

russell wilson
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

“Wilson was selected out of high school by the Baltimore Orioles in the 41st round of the 2007 baseball draft,” ESPN writer Jamison Hensley wrote. Not only that, but the Colorado Rockies selected him in 2010 and he ended up playing a number of games for their Single-A affiliate. The Texas Rangers also acquired the quarterback in 2013 as a publicity stunt.

Wilson Became Religious After His Father Passed Away

Diabetes complications ended up taking Wilson’s father’s life in 2010 and this would have a major effect on the future star. He and his father had a tight relationship, so after the loss, he turned to his Christian faith even harder.

russell wilson at church
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for BET
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for BET

It wasn’t always that way for the star. Wilson wouldn’t become religious until he was 14. He said one night Jesus came to him in a dream, and ever since then, he’s looked up to the cross.

Gospel Music Is A Favorite Of His

Thanks to his faith, Wilson became a massive fan of gospel music. Gospel comes with the territory of being a Christian as it fills every church before and after praise service. It grows on you the more and more you go to church.

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET

Wilson doesn’t sing in the choir, but he has an affinity for many gospel music artists. Some he lists as his favorites are Kirk Franklin and Lamar Campbell. He says they really connect to his life.

Wilson Loves The Seattle Community

Wilson contributes a ton to the Seattle community. Many consider him to be a staple in Seattle. He’s done so much charity and humanitarian work in his spare time, including frequent visits to the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

seattle community
Dave Mangels/Getty Images
Dave Mangels/Getty Images

The Seahawk goes to the hospital on Tuesdays and spends time with the children, saying that’s the best part of his week. This is one of the many examples the showcase Wilson’s kind heart.

A Writer For The Players’ Tribune

Not only is Wilson a phenomenal football player, he knows a thing or two about the media as well. He’s a senior editor at The Players’ Tribune, the website launched by Derek Jeter in 2014 where athletes share their stories.

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Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

With Wilson being a former baseball player, he grew up a Jeter fan. He submitted a quite interesting read to the site as well which shares his first-person view of how he approached the game of football.

Making History In His First Three Years

After Wilson’s first three seasons, he had a career passing rating of 98.3. That’s the highest in NFL history after only three seasons. To say Wilson is efficient would be stating the obvious.

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Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Not only that, but his AY/A (Adjusted Yards per Passing Attempt) was 8.16, which is also the best mark through three seasons. Wilson is a machine on the field, and these are only a few of the stats that prove it.

The First Seahawk To Throw For 4,000 Yards

There have been plenty of quarterbacks to don a Seattle Seahawk jersey in the history of the sport. Jon Kitna, Matt Hasselbeck, Warren Moon, and more, but none accomplished what Wilson did. Wilson was the first to throw over 4000 yards in a season!

the quarterback
Dougal Brownlie/Getty Images
Dougal Brownlie/Getty Images

He first did it in 2015 when he passed for 4,024, but the following year he beat that mark with 4,219. Not only do you have to worry about his passing skills, but you need to be cautious over his running ability as well.

One Lucky Player

Is it by coincidence this statistic deals with the number 13, or is it just Wilson’s luck? In 2015, Wilson fumbled the ball 13 times in the regular and postseason combined. It sounds awful, but something special happened with that.

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Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Each time he fumbled, the Seattle Seahawks always recovered it. The odds of that happening are very low, so karma must be on Wilson’s side for all those hospital visits to the kids in need.

A Deep Player-Coach Relationship

There’s this fallacy that all quarterbacks and coaches have a strong relationship, but that isn’t always the case. They might not see eye-to-eye sometimes, and not agreeing with play-calling can strain the chemistry.

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Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

This isn’t the case for Wilson and coach Pete Carroll. There have been times when Wilson’s admitted that Carroll is like a father figure to him. The two text each other often, even when they’re not in the same time zone. They might have the closest player-coach partnership in the NFL.

It Only Took Him One Year At Wisconsin

Wilson only spent one year at the University of Wisconsin, but that didn’t stop him from setting the single-season college football record for passing efficiency. He had a 191.8 rating, which is incredible.

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John Gress/Getty Images
John Gress/Getty Images

It was thanks to this lone season at a college football powerhouse that allowed him to gain enough exposure. He was already missing a few inches on his height, so setting a record like this helped him a ton.

Rose Bowl Action

During college, Wilson still had to determine if he would play baseball or football. After he decided on the latter, he transferred from NC State to Wisconsin and almost led them to the National Championship.

Russell
Wisconsin/Collegiate Images via Getty Images
Wisconsin/Collegiate Images via Getty Images

Instead, he secured a Big Ten Championship victory and a berth in the Rose Bowl. While they ended up losing to the Oregon Ducks, it was a valiant effort from Wilson and the rest of his team. All of this padded his resume for NFL scouts.

Joining Elite Company

When you’re in the same discussion as Hall of Famers Peyton Manning and Dan Marino, then you’re a special type of talent. Wilson joins elite company as one of the very few to throw over 50 touchdowns in their first two seasons.

russell wilson
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Being only one of three to do this is sensational. The exact number to Wilson’s credit is 52, so that means he averaged 26 scores in his first and second year as a professional.

Only One Other Accomplished This…

While Wilson threw for over 50 touchdowns in his first two seasons, he also ran for more than 1,000 rushing yards. This isn’t something that happens all the time if you can imagine.

russell wilson
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

In history, only Randall Cunningham achieved this. For Wilson to do this in his rookie and sophomore campaign is sensational. It only showcased the immense talent the Seahawks received after drafting him. When Russell Wilson is on the field, defenses need to be prepared for literally anything.

In Love With The Show Entourage

Wilson is obsessed with the Mark Wahlberg produced HBO series, Entourage. He considers it one of his passions outside of football and baseball. He even enjoyed enough to land a cameo spot in the 2015 movie.

HBO Wilson
HBO
HBO

Something funny is that after he got drafted, he celebrated by watching the show. Wilson has the same kind of commitment when it comes to watching that show as he has to working on his craft and that’s saying a lot.

Second-Largest Age Difference In Super Bowl History

When Russell Wilson faced off against Peyton Manning in their Super Bowl matchup, only one other time was there a wider age-difference between quarterbacks. Ironically, it was between Wilson and another legendary quarterback.

russell wilson peyton manning
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Broncos-Seahawk match up featured an 11-year difference. A year later, Wilson squared-off with arguably the best to do it, Tom Brady. That difference in age was 12 years, besting the other Super Bowl by one year. Wilson’s greatness was evident very early in his career.

After 17 Passes, You Can Expect A Touchdown

When Russell Wilson is your quarterback, then you can expect great things. By now, you’ve learned as much, but this next statistic is mind-blowing. After every 17th pass, (17.38 to be exact) Wilson throws a touchdown.

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Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

In comparison, Hall of Famer Dan Marino would toss one after every 14.56 pass attempt. Another great, Peyton Manning, threw a touch after every 19.75 passes. Wilson still has plenty of years to go, so that number can either increase or decrease but we feel it might stay consistent.

The First To Do THIS Since 1966

Since 1966, no other starting quarterback had the capability of doing this. In his first three seasons, Wilson won 36 regular-season games. Clearly Wilson is on a Hall of Fame path that started as soon as he entered the league.

russell wilson bending over
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Players such as Andrew Luck, Dan Marino, and Matt Ryan, who are all fantastic field generals, only racked up 33 wins their first three seasons in the NFL. Once again, Wilson proves to all the teams that skipped on him in the draft that they made a grave mistake.

Wilson Has Unrivaled Experience

Looking again at Russell Wilson’s first three seasons and one thing becomes clear – early in his career he became one of the most experienced playoff QBs in league history. In his first three seasons, will started eight playoffs, which is more than any player in NFL history.

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Harry How/Getty Images
Harry How/Getty Images

In those games, Wilson tossed 12 touchdowns and has a passer rating of 97.8. He also won six of them, another NFL record that proves just how good the underrated signal caller is.

Even Under Pressure, He Performs

Some athletes let bad play get to them. For example, a wide receiver might feel discouraged after dropping two consecutive passes, or a quarterback might become rattled after a couple of bad throws that miss the target.

stiff arming
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Wilson doesn’t let anything get to him when he’s on the field. In a game against the Packers in the NFC Championship Game, he threw four interceptions. Still, he kept his composure and ended up throwing the game-winning pass to Jermaine Kearse.

International Ties

The more Wilson accomplishes, the greater the opportunities that come his way. For example, in 2014, he became a part-owner of Eat the Ball. Eat the Ball is a bread company located in Europe, so not just anybody could’ve found or landed this deal.

russell wilson
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Two years after that, Wilson put his fashion sense on the line. The quarterback founded a line called Good Man Brand. Their site reads: “Good Man Brand enthusiastically donates 3% of every purchase to the Why Not You Foundation, which is committed to motivating, empowering and preparing today’s youth to be tomorrow’s leaders.”