Childhood & Early Life
Russell Carrington Wilson was born on 29 November 1988, in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, to Tammy Wilson and Harrison Wilson III. He has an older brother named Harrison IV and a younger sister named Anna. His father and brother played football and baseball, while his sister plays basketball.
Russell hails from a family of sportspersons. His paternal grandfather Harrison B. Wilson Jr. played basketball and football at ‘Kentucky State University,’ while his father played football and baseball for ‘Dartmouth.’ However, his father chose a career in law and his mother worked as a nurse.
Russell started playing football when he was four years old along with his father and brother. Being a quick learner, Russell started playing well early in his life. He landed an opportunity to play for the ‘Collegiate School’ team in 2004 where he led the team to a state championship and eventually earned the ‘Richmond Times-Dispatch Player of the Year’ honor.
Continue Reading Below
Russell Wilson got enrolled at the ‘North Carolina State University’ in 2006, despite earning a scholarship from the much-coveted ‘Duke University.’ Playing for NC State, Russell became the very first freshman quarterback to secure all-ACC first team honors. However, his desire to play baseball alongside football enraged Coach Tom O’Brien.
In 2010, ‘Colorado Rockies’ drafted Russell into ‘Major League Baseball.’ That summer, he played 32 games for the ‘Tri-City Dust Devils,’ an affiliate of the ‘Rockies.’ He then transferred to the ‘University of Wisconsin’ for his final year of college and played college football during the 2011 season. It turned out to be a great senior year for Russell as he led his team to a ‘Big Ten’ title. He also managed to set a new NCAA record, owing to his passing skills. Even then, he was not considered an ideal choice to play in the NFL due to his small frame. In an unexpected turn of events, popular NFL team ‘Seattle Seahawks’ started showing interest in him.
In May 2012, ‘Seahawks’ signed Russell for a four-year contract, and he played his first pre-season match against the ‘Kansas City Chiefs.’ In September that year, Russell got to make his regular season debut in a loss against the ‘Arizona Cardinals.’ Russell showed gradual improvement in his game, and in the tenth week, he was honored with the ‘Pepsi Rookie of the Week’ award. The regular season ended with Russell reaching 4th rank in the NFL passers list. By the end of the season, NFL’s performance-based pay program awarded him USD 222,000 for his impactful performance in his debut season.
Russell ended the 2013 ‘Super Bowl Season’ with a magnificent personal score of 26 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. By the 13th week, he had already been honored with ‘NFC Offensive Player of the Week’ award for the second time in his career. Upon defeating the ‘San Francisco 49ers’ in the NFC championship match, ‘Seahawks’ entered the ‘Super Bowl XLVIII.’ Russell performed magnificently and earned a cash bonus of USD 169,141, thanks to the league’s Performance-Based Program.
In July 2015, Russell’s contract with the ‘Seahawks’ was extended for four years. Russell’s performance wasn’t up to the mark in the first few games, but he soon came up with his best performance, becoming the only quarterback in the history of NFL to throw 3+ touchdowns passes without any interceptions in five successive games.
During the season, Russell went on to break many single records, including most passing yards, highest passer rating, and most passing touchdowns. Thanks to his amazing performances, he was considered one of the best quarterbacks of ‘Seahawks.’
He finished the year with highest passer rating. In the 2016 Pro Bowl draft, he was drafted first overall by ‘Team Irvin.’ In the game, he achieved three touchdowns with no interceptions and was named the ‘Pro Bowl offensive MVP.’
During the 2016 season, Russell was injured, yet he played in all 16 games, leading his team to a NFC West Win. ‘Seahawks’ were knocked out of the 2016 NFL in the Divisional Round by the ‘Atlanta Falcons,’ but Russell’s performance was appreciated.
In the 2017 season, Russell achieved a career high 452 passing yards and four touchdowns in a winning effort against the ‘Houston Texans.’ He also surpassed Joe Flacco to become the winningest quarterback in the first six seasons with 63 wins. However, his team missed the play-offs.
In the 2018 season, ‘Seahawks’ lost many of their Pro Bowl starters during the offseason and were not expected to qualify for the play offs. But Russell helped his team win against the ‘Dallas Cowboys,’ ‘Los Angeles Rams,’ ‘Detroit Lions,’ and ‘San Francisco 49ers.’ He finished the season with 35 touchdowns and 110.9 passer rating, which became his personal best.
He signed a four-year extension contract with ‘Seahawks’ in April 2019 for a whopping $140 million, becoming the highest-paid NFL player in the history of the league. In a match against the ‘Pittsburgh Steelers,’ he threw 300 yards and achieved three touchdowns, earning the ‘NFC Offensive Player of the Week.’
Russell Wilson also happens to be the face of many coveted brands, such as ‘Microsoft,’ ‘Alaska Airlines,’ ‘Duracell,’ ‘Bose,’ ‘Pepsi,’ and ‘Nike.’ In 2014, he became the co-owner of a European bread company named ‘Eat the Ball.’ In February 2016, he launched his own clothing line called ‘Good Man Brand.’
He has also been featured in several magazine covers and is a regular celebrity guest on talk shows, such as ‘Late Show with David Letterman,’ ‘Charlie Rose,’ ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live,’ and ‘Late Night With Seth Meyers.’