Broncos’ Nate Irving, Montee Ball Played with Russell Wilson in College


Aug 18, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field. (Byron Hetzler-USA TODAY Sports)

Despite being the quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, an argument can be made that Russell Wilson isn’t exactly the face of the franchise.

How can that be when he tied Peyton Manning’s 1998 record for most touchdowns passes (26) by a rookie?

Before Wilson transferred to Wisconsin, he played football and baseball for NC State, where with his 76 touchdowns, he ranks second all-time in school history.

Once Wilson got to Wisconsin, he became a captain immediately. Broncos rookie running back Montee Ball was there to welcome the transfer and can attest to his leadership skills.

“As soon as he got there, he was walking around with notecards with the plays on them and stuff like that,” Ball said. “And I was like, ‘OK, this guy is really serious.’ Based on his history, based on what we’d heard of him and based on the first couple practices we had, we were like, ‘OK, we need to follow this guy.’”

According to Ball, he and Wilson had a great relationship in college. During Wilson’s first year in the league, Ball would frequently text Wilson, asking him how the NFL was. Make no mistake though, Ball and Wilson stopped texting once this season started.

Nate Irving was also Wilson’s teammate for three seasons at NC State.

“I was mad,” Irving said of his QB deciding to transfer. “I didn’t want him to leave. He had to do what he had to do.”

Irving said that Wilson always had his nose in a book or was studying plays.

Wilson, Ball, and Irving aren’t the only ex-college teammates competing against each other in this year’s Super Bowl.

David Bruton and Golden Tate played at Notre Dame together for two seasons. Andre Caldwell played two seasons with Percy Harvin at Florida. DT Sione Fua was teammates with Richard Sherman at Stanford. The list goes on and on and even to the coaching staff.

It goes without saying that Wilson is dangerous both with his feet and with his arm. The Broncos will have to contain him and force him into some quick passes if they’re going to have success stopping the Seahawks offense come Super Bowl Sunday.

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