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The faith and football of Russell Wilson

The stats tell football fans a lot about the performance of rookie quarterback who started for the Seattle Seahawks Friday night. Wilson threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Hawks to a 44-14 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

His updates on Twitter tell me a little about his personality.

“Blessed to be a Seahawk.”

Who is this guy?

WilsonWilson was drafted with the 12th pick in the third round – 75th overall – during the 2012 NFL Draft.

He’s the first quarterback drafted under Carroll and General Manager John Schneider and the highest quarterback selected by the club since 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard was taken with the 77th overall pick in 1999.

“My goal is to be great,” Wilson told reporters after Coach Pete Carroll announced he’d get the start in the Hawk’s third preseason game. “I definitely imagine myself always being successful.”

A lot has been made of his height, or lack of, for a quarterback. He’s 5’11” and many sports writers and pros say it’s rare for someone under 6 feet tall to make it in that position.

“It’s pretty unbelievable how the Lord works,” says Wilson.

Wilson’s faith is an important part of his life.

He’s referred to it in post-game interviews and he posts daily Bible verses on his Twitter feed. His latest: I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14 NKJV)

Wilson says faith in God is the foundation for his life and family – brother Harrison Wilson IV, sister Anna, and mother Tammy.

Wilson told a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter about how faith helped him deal with the death of his father, Harrison Wilson III in 2010, who had been suffering from diabetes and several strokes.

The date was June 9, the day after Russell Wilson was drafted by the (Major League Baseball team, the Colorado) Rockies. He went to share the news with his father.

“My grandmother and I went there and we started praying,” Russell Wilson said. “He was non-responsive.”

Undaunted, Russell Wilson told his father about being drafted by the Rockies. He eventually stepped out into the hallway, along with his grandmother and mother.

Mother and son stepped aside and started talking privately, for about 15 minutes.

Russell Wilson finished the story:

“We were just standing there and all of a sudden it clicked,” he said. “The Holy Spirit was telling us to go in there. So we went in the room and – this is the crazy part.

“I walked in and I could see the (EKG) monitor. As soon as I walked in the door I said: ‘Hey, Dad, I’m here.’

“As soon as I said that, the line went flat. That’s how I knew the Lord is real. I knew my dad heard me and he could hear everything I was telling him about how I got drafted. He was waiting for something great to happen.

“That’s how I knew he went in peace. He is here watching me right now.”


Photo by Ron Chenoy

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