Tha Sports Junkies 101

Wilson Delivers University of Wisconsin Commencement Address


Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson returned to his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Saturday, to deliver an inspiring commencement address to the graduating class of 2016.

Wilson spoke for approximately 15 minutes, which he used to speak about several standout graduates, the importance of working with others, the idea of ‘potential,’ and how he became a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Before attending UW-Madison, Wilson played both football and baseball at North Carolina State University. He spoke about his journey through football training camp at NC State, where he was told that he could not play quarterback and would have to play safety if he wanted to be a member of the team.

Wilson would eventually be given the job, only to have it taken from him for a less impressive talent. He seemingly did not have a good relationship with head coach Tom O’Brien, who chose backup Tampa Bay backup quarterback Mike Glennon over him for the 2011 season.

In an official transcript provided by ESPN, Wilson is quoted recalling a conversation he had with O’Brien, who told him that he would never play in the NFL, and had no future with the Wolfpack:

“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.”

Russell Wilson would ultimately decide to transfer to Wisconsin, where he was delivering the address, and play at a high level, resulting in him being drafted 75th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Seahawks.

He used his story as inspiration to the class and encouraged them to surround themselves with people who will help them succeed, because no one, not even a three-time Pro Bowler can do anything in life alone.

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