Former N.C. State player blasts Russell Wilson for commencement comments

While delivering the commencement speech at the University of Wisconsin over the weekend, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson made headlines with some comments about his former coach at North Carolina State, Tom O’Brien.

According to Wilson, when O’Brien was trying to force him to choose between baseball and football, his head coach told him he would not play in the NFL.

“The summer before my senior year of college, I’m playing minor-league baseball. I called my football coach at NC State and said, ‘Hey coach, I’d like to come back for my senior year.’ He told me I wasn’t coming back. He said, ‘Listen son, you’re never going to play in the National Football League. You’re too small. There’s no chance. You’ve got no shot. Give it up.’ Of course, I’m on this side of the phone saying, ‘So you’re telling me I’m not coming back to NC State? I won’t see the field?’ He said, ‘No son, you won’t see the field.’ Now this was everything I had worked for. And now it was completely gone,” Wilson said.

“If I wanted to follow my dream I had to leave NC State. I had no idea if I would get a second chance somewhere else.”

Now, someone has decided to respond.

One of Wilson’s former N.C. State teammates, offensive lineman Kalani Heppe, went on Facebook and delivered a rant claiming Wilson was making up most of what he said.


Many members of the Wolfpack program have taken offense to Wilson’s comments and this is not the only negative reaction. While it’d be nice to see the two sides mend fences, it looks like Wilson may not be welcomed back in Raleigh anytime soon.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

Will Grier officially enrolled at West Virginia