Updated: Wilson Transfers to Wisconsin

Thought to be just a quarterback away from competing for the Big Ten Conference championship, Wisconsin added a big piece to that equation Monday afternoon, as senior quarterback Russell Wilson will transfer to Wisconsin for the 2011 season.

MADISON – Thought to be just a quarterback away from being the No.1 contender for the Big Ten Conference championship, Wisconsin added a huge, and highly coveted, piece to its football puzzle Monday when it announced that Russell Wilson committed to Wisconsin and attend graduate school at UW beginning this fall.

"I think with their coaching staff and with the players they have there from their experience and the tradition they have their in terms of the fans and the players that have played there before, I am truly excited about it," Wilson said on ESPN's College Football Live. "I think it's a great situation for me.

"I'm truly blessed to be a Badger. I'm excited to join the family there."

In three seasons in Raleigh, Wilson, the runner up for ACC Player of the Year last year, has completed 57.8 percent of his passes for 8,545 yards. No quarterback in the ACC has thrown more touchdown passes than Wilson, as his 76 touchdown passes is 26 more than Miami quarterback Jacory Harris.

Wilson set an NCAA record for throwing 379 passes over two years without an interception, is the school's third all-time leading passer, never lost to in-state rival North Carolina, was voted the team's most valuable player last season and was the MVP after helping his team win the Champs Sports Bowl.

Wilson became available when N.C. State head coach Tom O'Brien, frustration with Wilson, taken in the fourth round of Major League Baseball's draft last summer by the Colorado Rockies, dividing his commitments between football and baseball, told the senior quarterback that he wouldn't be the starter this upcoming season, despite leading the team to nine wins last season for the first time since 2002.

Wilson asked for his transfer and got inquires from a dozen schools, but ended up only taking unofficial visits to Auburn (May 24) and Wisconsin (June 8). During his visit to Madison, Wilson was welcomed to a lit up Camp Randall Stadium and the Jumbotron playing a replay of Wisconsin's primetime win over No.1 Ohio State last October. He spent the night hanging out with senior wide receiver Nick Toon and met with coach Bret Bielema, offensive coordinator Paul Chryst and other coaches and players before leaving the following day.

"Russell will come in and compete for the starting quarterback position," Bielema said in a statement. "This is an unusual situation, especially for a program that prides itself on developing players throughout their careers, as we do here at Wisconsin. However, this is a special situation and Russell is the type of player and person that fits very well with our team."

Wilson said he's given no assurances that he will be the starting quarterback, something he's more than fine with, and that he's anxious to get to Madison to learn the playbook.

"I believe that being the competitor that I am, you have to compete every single day," Wilson said. "Whether you are in little league, big time college football, the NFL or Major League Baseball, it's about competing and about being the best every single day."

Wilson is expected on campus within the next week, according to a source. The Asheville Tourists, the Rockies' Class A baseball affiliate where Wilson was playing, announced this afternoon that Wilson has left the team. Wilson finished his season with a .228 batting average, three home runs and 15 runs batted in.

Redshirt sophomore Jon Budmayr finished spring camp as the No. 1 quarterback on the UW depth chart, but struggled in the annual spring game, completing 10-of-23 for 113 yards and failing to lead a touchdown drive in the spring game.

After being spoiled under two-year starter Scott Tolzien, who went 21-5 as a starter, the Badgers, before Wilson committed, were facing the 2011 season with three quarterbacks who had yet to start a game, have played in three total games and combined to go 22 of 61 for 243 yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions in the UW's annual spring.

Redshirt freshman Joe Brennan, true freshman Joel Stave and senior Nate Tice are the only other active quarterbacks on the current roster.

"I think it's important that I get to know my teammates on the field and off the field and work hard every single day to be the best I can be," Wilson said. "Hopefully my teammates will be welcoming, and I know they will … I want to be an additional leader to the team they already have and win a lot of games."

Wisconsin opens fall camp on Aug. 4 with practice starting the next day. The Badgers' first game is Thursday, Sept. 1 vs. UNLV. The game is in prime time (7 p.m. CT) on ESPN.

For more info on Russell Wilson, go to Fox Sports Wisconsin

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