Redskins fans waited 20 years for talent at the quarterback position. Ask any Redskins fan since 1993 and they’ll tell you the wait has been tedious and sometimes embarrassing. For every Troy Aikman, Donovan McNabb, and Eli Manning, we had Heath Shuler, Patrick Ramsey, and Jason Campbell. For years the Redskins sat idle as the Eagles, Cowboys, and Giants took turns ruling the NFC East and winning NFC Championships.
Jack Kent Cooke, Charlie Casserly, Dan Snyder, Vinny Cerrato, Norval Turner, Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier, Joe Gibbs, and Jim Zorn were all aware of the issues regarding the quarterback position, however none seamed to have any clue on how to fix it. Snyder opted to throw money at the position, Gibbs preferred washed up veterans and the rest were simply clueless monkeys.
On April 26th, 2012 our prayers were answered, the Redskins drafted Robert Griffin the third (RG3) out of Baylor University. With his track like speed and freakish athleticism, RG3 personifies “amazing”. His style of play has wowed NFL greats, opposing players, and fans across the globe. From this Iranian newspaper to chants of “RG3, RG3, RG3!” by Russian students, Robert has taken the world by storm.
Needless to say, this makes me giddy. I love the positive attention this team has received, I love the bravado, silly merchandise, and mainstream media attention. I love the #griffining twitter phenomenon, I love his toothy smile…I’m 100% enamored with RG3. My love for all things RG3 has oft led my spouse to question my sexual orientation.
But I’m also a football fan and I can appreciate talent when I see it. Russell Wilson may not look like the prototypical quarterback or have fans overseas, or crazy merchandise, or social media phenomena, but he’s quietly inserted himself into the ranks as one of the elite rookie QBs.
While at Collegiate high school in Richmond, VA Wilson excelled at baseball, basketball, and football. As a junior in 2005, he threw for 3,287 yards and 40 touchdowns. He also rushed for 634 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was named an all-district, all-region, and all-state player. Wilson was twice named the Richmond Times-Dispatch Player of the Year.
After graduating high school, Wilson was selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the 5th pick in the 41st round (1222nd overall) of the 2007 MLB draft. Wilson instead elected to attend North Carolina State that fall and pursue a degree in communications. In a 2008 interview Wilson said, “I was leaning towards [entering the draft], but a college education is something you’ll always have.”
Despite his dedication for an college degree, Wilson’s love for baseball never wavered. On June 8, 2010, Wilson was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round (140th pick overall) of the 2010 MLB Draft. That summer he played 32 games as a second baseman for the Tri-City Dust Devils, the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Rockies in the Northwest League. He finished the season with 2 home runs, 11 runs batted in (RBIs), and a .230 batting average.
After playing three seasons at NC State, Wilson transferred to the University of Wisconsin to pursue a graduate degree and compete with Nate Tice for the starting QB position.
Many NFL scouts had overlooked Wilson due to his size (5’10”) and lack of flashy NCAA statistics. Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks however saw something in Wilson, something so special that they were willing to use a 3rd round pick after signing free agent QB Matt Flynn to a 3-year $15 million contract.
As Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck dominated the headlines and stared in television commercials, Wilson piled up yards, touchdowns, and most importantly, victories. Wilson’s Seahawks were 8-0 at home and won impressive games against the Patriots, Cowboys, Bears, and 49ers. Wilson was the only rookie QB of the 2012 class to win a playoff game.
Russell Wilson deserves this award, he’s done more with less and has won me over as a fan. He’s like they “Rocky Balboa” of the 2012 season.
I bleed burgundy and gold, I’m a Redskins fan to the grave. I love RGIII, but Russell Wilson is more deserving.