Seahawks QB Russell Wilson Reminisces About His NFL Scouting Combine Experience
Over eight seasons in the NFL, quarterback Russell Wilson has been doubted at every stage of his career. Despite reaching back-to-back Super Bowls, earning six Pro Bowl nominations and one All-Pro honor, some experts are still underestimating him heading into 2020.
Unfortunately for Wilson, the majority of the criticism he’s faced over his career, in the NFL and in the NCAA, has been directed towards his undersized frame. While the Wisconsin standout has proven height doesn’t matter at the quarterback position, that sentiment certainly didn’t exist before he entered the league in 2012.
In an interview with Kevin Hart on LOL Network’s "Cold as Balls: Cold Calls" series, the Seahawks quarterback detailed his experience during the 2012 NFL Combine and revealed a few tricks he tried to increase his height before being measured in Indianapolis. Sadly, none of his attempts were successful as he topped out at just over 5-foot-10.
"I was gonna try to put some socks under these feet and try to get a couple extra inches," Wilson explained. "I had my hair all tall, and I had it all gelled up. And I'm thinking to myself, 'Man, I'm gonna be a good 6-foot, 6-foot-1 with this hair.' This hair is growing long. Sure enough - I know I measured myself, my true height, I'm like 5-foot-10 [and 7/8] - so anyways sure enough this dude measured me at 5-foot-10 and 1/4 inches. I was hot."
Even though Wilson’s attempts to appear taller failed, the superstar quarterback received some bulletin board-type motivation as he walked away. While leaving the measurement podium, the Ohio-native overheard someone say that he’d “never make it” in the NFL.
"I'm walking down the aisle, right? And everybody's like [whispering], and I'll never forget this," Wilson discussed. "There's this dude on the right, I ain't going to say who it is, he said to the guy next to him, 'Psst, he'll never make it. He'll never make it.' I'll never forget hearing that in my right ear."
Despite Wilson’s height – now listed generously at 5-foot-11 – the Seahawks still selected him during the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft and named him their starting quarterback as a rookie. Even though the team handed Matt Flynn a three-year deal over the offseason, the veteran signal caller was outshined by the youngster during the preseason.
After three impressive performances during exhibition contests, Wilson was summoned by coach Pete Carroll a few days after their 44-14 victory over Kansas City and was told that he’d be named as Seattle’s “new franchise quarterback.”
Since that moment, the former Badger has run with the opportunity, winning at least 10 regular season games in seven of his eight seasons and leading his team to seven playoff appearances. Additionally, he’s also started in every game and has produced at least 3,000 passing yards and 20 touchdowns in every season since his rookie campaign.
While Wilson still hasn’t earned an MVP vote, his priority likely remains around staying competitive and leading his team to another Super Bowl next season. Even though the future Hall of Famer can’t change what was said about him in the past, he still has lots of time to continue proving people wrong about his ability to succeed at the game’s highest level.