NC State QB picked by Rockies in 4th round
AP Sports Writer
Vail, CO Colorado
RALEIGH, N.C. – Russell Wilson hopes to be both North Carolina State’s quarterback and a minor leaguer with the Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies took Wilson on Tuesday in the fourth round of the baseball draft. He says he’s “looking forward to getting out there and being a Rocky, but I also plan on coming back and playing football this fall.
“They’re both my loves,” he added of the two sports.
Colorado selected the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference football rookie of the year with the 140th overall pick. Wilson says he probably will play second base or center field.
Among the lingering unanswered questions: When will he report to one of the Rockies’ farm teams? And how long will he stay before returning to Raleigh for preseason football camp?
Still, Wilson expressed confidence that he’ll be able to play both sports.
“They know my situation. They know that I play football and baseball,” Wilson said. “We’ll continue to talk and figure this thing out.”
N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien said it would be best for both his quarterback and the team for him to be on campus when camp starts Aug. 3, and he plans to talk to Wilson on Wednesday and come up with a plan.
“There’s certainly a lot of things that we have to discuss from an NCAA standpoint,” O’Brien said. “We have to get those things ironed out, but as far as we talked today, he has no agent, he signed no contract, he’s taken no money. … He wants to play football (too).”
Wilson led the ACC with 31 touchdown passes as a sophomore last season, and set an NCAA record with 379 consecutive pass attempts without an interception. He hit .306 with three home runs and 12 RBIs, and pitched in 10 games, making one start, and was 0-1 with a 5.84 ERA.
He joins a Rockies’ organization that certainly has no shortage of quarterbacks: Colorado also drafted Kyle Parker of ACC rival Clemson in the first round, and first baseman Todd Helton played QB at Tennessee while outfielder Seth Smith backed up Eli Manning at Mississippi. The Rockies even spent a 46th-round draft choice in 2006 on Damion Carter, a quarterback at Southern Mississippi.
But no matter the sport he’s playing, Wilson has never been a player who defines himself by the position he plays.
“I don’t want to be looked at just as a quarterback,” Wilson said. “I’m a baseball player when I get there, and I’m a quarterback when I get here.”