It's been called âThe World's Toughest Job Interview.â For six days at the NFL Combine (Feb. 22 â Feb. 28), college football's best will be measured, interviewed, tested, watched and analyzed by countless NFL coaches, general managers and scouts conducting all of their due diligence before the NFL Draft. To prepare, more than two dozen prospects have traveled to IMG Academy for six-plus weeks of Physical, Mental, Communication, Nutrition and Vision training withAthletic & Personal Development program specialists and on-field training with some of the game's top football coaches through theIMG Academy football program.
How good of an athlete is Russell Wilson? In 2010, he led the ACC in passing yards per game then showed enough potential on the baseball diamond to be selected by the Colorado Rockies in the MLB Draft. Now fully focused on football, Wilson took some time to discuss his critics, sneaking into Wisconsin's stadium and the best athlete in his family (hint: it's not him).
Russell Wilson on...
...preparing for greatness: My dad woke my brother and I up at 6 every morning to work out. I'd be throwing speed outs to my brother at 10 years old before school. That really developed our work ethic. My dad emphasized having a purpose, perspective and perseverance -- the three "P's."
I started figuring out that I could really be something in 8th and 9th grade when I was playing varsity and most of my classmates were on junior varsity. Physically I always had it.I tried to always develop my game mentally, which I think has given me the biggest edge.
...the next dominant Wilson: The best athlete of anyone in my family is probably my sister. She's the real deal. She's a 14-year-old point guard with an unbelievable handle and jump shot. I tell her she has to prepare her mind and body to be great. You can't be average, you have to be great every single day. My dad used to tell me that you are competing against everyone across the country, so that's why I'm always working my butt off.
...playing at N.C. State and coping with his father's death: I love N.C. State. I graduated in three years. I developed some great relationships and was able to play baseball, as well. I grew us a quarterback and as a person. My dad passed away while I was there, and everyone was great about supporting me.
The scripture I always write when I sign autographs is âMatthew 6:33â -- seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Don't worry about tomorrow or what you can't control, just focus on today. I knew he was sitting there watching every snap when we were in the Rose Bowl or playing in the first-ever Big Ten championship game.
...transferring to Wisconsin: I got there July 1 and my goal was to learn the playbook by July 21. That way when I stepped into the huddle for the first time, they realized that I was a leader and ready to take over. It was hectic. I was in the film room by myself a lot. I also have a huge whiteboard at home where I can draw out all of the routes.I'd sneak into Camp Randall all by myself with no lights on and just go through my progressions on the 50-yard line.
...responding to criticism: I really don't pay attention to it. God made me this way for a reason. He made me this tall for a reason. I think I've proven what I can do. Plus, look at someone like Drew Brees. He's about my height and one of the best quarterbacks in the game.
One talent you wish you had: I wish I could sing. I'd do it so much that people would tell me to shut up.
Biggest pet peeve: When people don't work hard enough to reach their true potential.
Career if not an athlete: I'd be a coach or an ESPN analyst.
Best player ever competed against: B.J. Raji
Biggest trash-talker: I don't want to call out any specific players, so I'll say Michigan State. I've to Kirk (Cousins, who is also training at IMG Academy) about it. He definitely knows it.