Russell Wilson is leaving N.C. State.
But apparently, he doesn't really want to.
Late last week, N.C. State announced in a statement that it had released the star quarterback from his scholarship. On Saturday, however, Russell said that he wasn't really "released" from anything; instead, the quarterback said, he was pushed out of the program by coach Tom O'Brien, who had seemingly has grown tired of Wilson's juggling act between football and minor-league baseball.
"I really want the fans, N.C. State alumni and most of all my teammates to know if I had been given an equal opportunity to compete for the starting job, I would not have asked for my release," Wilson told the Observer.
In response, O'Brien said that Wilson "knew the importance" of committing full-time to football--and understood, too, the repercussions of not making that commitment. Specifically, if Wilson wouldn't stop playing baseball, he wouldn't be given the starting quarterback job for the Wolfpack.
Without Wilson, who says he may look to continue playing college football elsewhere, the Wolfpack will move forward in 2011 with backup Mike Glennon. Glennon is no slouch, but it's simply unlikely that he'll be able to match the extraordinary production of Wilson, who has served as the singular star of the N.C. State program for the past three seasons. Last year, he threw for 3,563 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also rushed for 435 yards and nine touchdowns, leading the Wolfpack to a 9-4 finish.
Photo: Russell Wilson was named second-team All-ACC in 2010. (Getty Images)