Former NC State coach Tom O’Brien, now an assistant coach at Virginia, said on Friday that his relationship with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has “always been good,” despite the former NC State quarterback’s decision to transfer to Wisconsin for his final season of eligibility.
At the time, it was a controversial decision, and with Wilson heading to the Super Bowl, their relationship and Wilson’s decision to leave Raleigh has again come under the microscope.
“I have no problems,” O’Brien said on a teleconference. “It’s always been good. Maybe some people think it hasn’t been, but certainly I think it’s been fine. I texted him and asked him for tickets when he came to the Redskins and then texted him I was just kidding him. Stuff like that. We’re good.”
After earning his undergraduate degree, Wilson was free to transfer in April 2011 and play anywhere. O’Brien boiled his decision down to simple math, as Wilson had one year left to play and his backup, Mike Glennon, had also already graduated but had two seasons of eligibility remaining. There was a concern that had Wilson committed to playing baseball, and Glennon transferred, O’Brien wouldn’t have any quarterback.
So he released Wilson from his scholarship and named Glennon the starter.
“Michael would have graduated that year,” O’Brien said. “He could move on if he wanted to at the end of that year, so that was just all part of the decision-making process that had to happen. You could have one quarterback, you could have two quarterbacks, or you could have no quarterbacks.”
O’Brien said he wouldn’t have done anything differently had he been put in the same situation again.
“I’m not clairvoyant, I can’t tell the future,” he said. “The thing you do and you always do is you make decisions on the facts you have at that time. Certainly with the facts and the situation the way it was, we parted on great terms. Russell went his way, we had to make a decision what’s best for NC State, we made that decision and went forward. Actually the best news is, it worked out for both kids. Both had the opportunity, both got to compete against each other and play this year on the field. It’s a great opportunity. It was a great opportunity for Russell and it was a great opportunity for Michael. We were lucky to have those kids the four years we had them playing, five years. People ought to be happy about that.”