Wilson Ready To Play Heels

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Russell Wilson met with the media following Wednesday's practice to discuss NC State's matchup with North Carolina.

Some players gets more excited about playing UNC because of the rivalry, some players just see this as another game. How would you describe your feelings?
It's another game that's in the ACC and another game where we have to win to try to get where we want to go, that's the most important thing.

Secondly, you can't diminish the fact that it's a rivalry game. That's obviously there and if I said it wasn't there I'd be lying to you. It definitely is important but at the same time you have to keep it in perspective. 100 yards is 100 yards.

Is it tough to keep it in perspective when everyone talks about the game so much outside the Murhpy Center?
You just have to focus on what you need to focus on and just playing as hard as you can.

Talk about your success against North Carolina. What has made that possible?
I think my freshman and sophomore year we capitalized on opportunities and we stayed on the field and made plays. Guys stepped up with some big plays. Both of those games were great games, and Carolina, you have to give them credit. They have a great defense, a great offense and they are playing well. But at the same time, we have to capitalize on our opportunities and play the game the right way.

There will be ups and downs, peaks and valleys, but hopefully at the end of the game we've been successful enough that we win.

Do you remember how they played you? Was it similar in the last two games?
For the most part, yeah. They have great players over there and they know what they are doing. They've done a great job with that program and getting guys in there and playing hard. Going into this game, I just have to focus on what they give me and take what they give me. Play the game and one play at a time.

Coach O'Brien has talked about you as a leader, how different are you as a leader now than you were two years ago?
Just more experience. I still have the same personal motivation of trying to get every single person out on the field in the huddle with me better and being successful that one particular play. That is my same motivation every day that I have in practice and in games. At the same time, I try to be the best I can be personally. More than anything, the experience has helped me.

What is it about practice that is important in leadership?
I don't think I've changed anything, I've just continued to push harder every day. It's about trying to push yourself and putting yourself in that game situation and visualize yourself being in a stadium making a big time play.

You were recruited by Carolina. Did they not want you to play baseball?
Some schools wanted me to just play football, some schools wanted me to just play baseball. Some schools were hesitant about both. NC State is the place I decided on and it's a great place for me.

In terms of Carolina, they already had a quarterback at that time. They wanted to offer me for football and they liked me in baseball too but I don't think they wanted me to play quarterback at the time because they already had a kid. For me, it was the best situation to come here, and I think the Lord brought me here. It's a great situation for me and I'm happy every day.

North Carolina has forced a lot of turnovers during the last three years, how have you avoided that against them?
First of all they are fast and athletic. They get around the ball and make plays, get a few tips here and there and catch it. I can't focus on all that stuff though. All I can focus on is executing one play at a time. They are a great team and have great athletes but at the same time I can't be passive either.

With two games left, what do you think the team learned in its three losses this season?
More than anything I think executing in certain situations. Just trying to relax and finish plays and drives whether it's on offense or defense and trying not to give up the big play. That's football. You have to weather the storm. If we keep our mindset on what we need to do and just execute the play and be fundamental football players, we usually are pretty successful.

Pack Pride Top Stories