Sources: Wisconsin gets its man in Wilson

June, 27, 2011
6/27/11
12:05
PM ET
They're jumping around in Madison today.

[+] EnlargeRussell Wilson
Mike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesFormer NC State quarterback Russell Wilson will take his talents to Wisconsin this fall.
Former NC State quarterback Russell Wilson is headed to Wisconsin to play football this fall, sources have told ESPN. Wilson chose Wisconsin over both Auburn and the chance to continue playing baseball for the Asheville Tourists, a Colorado Rockies Class A affiliate. The Tourists announced Wilson's departure Monday.

Wilson will discuss his decision on ESPN's "College Football Live" at 3:30 p.m. ET. Because he graduated from NC State with one year of football eligibility remaining, Wilson is eligible to play for another FBS program immediately.

His move to Madison has major implications for both Wisconsin and the rest of the Big Ten. Wisconsin has many of the pieces in place for another run at a Big Ten title, a Rose Bowl and possibly more. The consensus is that the Badgers' primary weakness is the quarterback position. The signal-callers struggled for much of the spring, and depth after Jon Budmayr had been a concern.

In steps Wilson, who brings very impressive credentials from NC State. He earned All-ACC honors and passed for 8,545 yards and 76 touchdowns in three seasons with the Wolfpack. His skills both as a passer and as a playmaker make him stand out from Wisconsin quarterbacks of the past.

He will need to adjust quickly and beat out Budmayr for the starting job in camp, which isn't a guarantee. He also must establish himself as a leader in the locker room despite joining the team just weeks before camp begins.

The good news is that Wilson boasts experience and seems to have a good head on his shoulders.

Wisconsin's pro-style offense seemed to fit Wilson better than Auburn's scheme, given what he ran at NC State. If he can catch on quickly both on the field and in the locker room, Wisconsin could be primed for another special season.

Does this make the Badgers the undisputed Big Ten favorites? I don't know if I'm quite ready to go that far without seeing Wilson in a few games. Wisconsin should be the favorite in the Leaders Division, especially because of the messiness in Columbus, but there are several formidable teams in the Legends Division.

I'll have plenty more on Wilson's big decision, so stay tuned.

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