By Walker, Marlon A.
Diverse Issues in Higher Education , Vol. 28, No. 6
TOP MALE STUDENT-ATHLETE
Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports
Scholar of the Year
School: North Carolina State University
Cumulative GPA: 4.0
After most practices during Colorado Rockies spring training, Russell Wilson can be spotted putting m extra practice time to smooth any rough edges in his game.
Even after a good day on the dirt, Wilson says he is never satisfied.
"I don't want to be common," says the 22-year-old. "I want to be special. I work every, day on my dream of being a hall-of-famer one day."
During Rockies' training camp, that meant starting the day before sunrise to get to the training facility and then enduring a grueling workout with the team until mid-afternoon. Afterward, he would spend a few more hours working on various aspects of his game before heading back to his digs to jump into the online graduate study courses he's taking through North Carolina State University.
Wilson was drafted m the fourth round by the Rockies m 2010, spending the summer playing second base with the Class A TriCity Dust Devils. He went back to school in the fall as NCSU's starting quarterback, throwing for a career-high 3,563 yards with 28 touchdowns while leading the Wolfpack to a 9-4 record, including a win in the Champs Sports Bowl. His numbers are the second best in NC State football history, behind only NFL superstar Philip Rivers. Wilson finished a degree in communications a year early and began taking graduate courses soon after.
Working with the Rockies means his dreams of a professional football career are only sidelined, Wilson says. He has a year of eligibility left in football, which he's still contemplating. At approximately 6'0" and 200 pounds, he is considered undersized to play quarterback in the NFL, but his athleticism, agility and sub-4.7 second 40-yard-dash time make him an intriguing gamble, say some NFL draft experts.
Wilson keeps in his mind Matthew 6:33, which says, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." His future is out of his hands, he says. …