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The Countdown

A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.

Need to Know

Widening Wilson’s Transfer Search

The N.C.A.A. prohibits schools from commenting on unsigned recruits, whether they be high school seniors or potential transfers, which has limited the coverage of a story with potentially enormous consequences: Russell Wilson’s departure from N.C. State. At first blush, it was thought that only schools in the region would be a player for Wilson’s services. And that may still be the case, especially seeing that a trip to Auburn, for example, would allow the senior to finish his college career in a system perfectly suited for his skill set and under an offensive coordinator with a nice track record of success, to put it mildly. But by widening his search, Wilson could look for the best fit for his services, not just the shortest drive from Raleigh.

Wilson’s transfer is no longer a regional affair. It’s now a national search, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which reported that Wilson contacted Wisconsin about its open quarterback situation. The Badgers lost Scott Tolzien to graduation; Curt Phillips to another knee injury, his third in less than two years; and enter – or would enter – 2011 with a sophomore starter and a redshirt freshman backup.

Wilson is good enough to open his search nationwide. The whole idea of remaining in the mid-Atlantic or South doesn’t really make sense, seeing that it severely limits his transfer options; there are opportunities close to N.C. State, albeit none in the A.C.C., but those opportunities are doubled if Wilson begins to look for the best fit, not just the closest stop.

So this is a very wise move by a student-athlete who, by all accounts, has always considered all his options. It might get bitterly cold at Wisconsin come November, but the Badgers may very well provide Wilson with the best chance at delivering what the senior wants from his final season of college football: the opportunity to start; an offense well-suited to his skills, playing on his accuracy and careful play with the football; and an offense that will balance his passing with a strong running game, something he rarely had at N.C. State.

And that’s just looking at from an on-field perspective. In the bigger picture, Wisconsin would give Wilson the chance to play for a conference title – perhaps even a national title, if you care to dream big. I know Auburn is coming off a B.C.S. championship, but can the Tigers truly say the same in 2011? Not with only seven starters returning off last year’s team, not when the roster has been decimated by graduation.

Just because Wisconsin makes sense doesn’t mean Wilson should stop there. Why not call Texas, which has quarterback issues? Mack Brown always has an eye on the future, but he would have no choice but to entertain a one-year rental like Wilson, who could push Texas from its worst season in a generation back to the top of the Big 12.

Keep heading west: touch base with Washington, California, U.C.L.A. and Utah. It can’t hurt, even if this Pac-12 quartet lacks the national title credentials of a Wisconsin. Wilson should just keep looking for the best fit, a search which might begin but does not end with mere geography. Madison is about 950 miles from Raleigh, give or take, but the chance to start for a title contender far outweighs the travel costs.

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  1. matt anderson says:

    Badgers are the perfect fit all around for Wilson. I would love it!

  2. Prateek says:

    I would love to see Wilson in badger red. Might just be the push we need to get over the hump this year..

  3. schedule nit says:

    So…is he committed to the colour scheme?

    What about Va Tech? They are a qb away from a run. No ACC allowed?

    He’s better than any LSU qb as well.

    Part of me says, “please not Auburn” but part really wants to see what Malzahn would do with him.

  4. Hokieshibe says:

    He isn’t allowed to go to any ACC school, or a school on NCSt’s sched next year… Besides, VT already has a qb primed to start next season: Logan Thomas.

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