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August 22, 2008The long awaited and eagerly anticipated news about who will be under center for NC State in the season opener against South Carolina next Thursday has been answered.
The redshirt freshman was named the starter for the game by Tom O'Brien, ending a nearly-month long competition. Wilson edged out fifth-year senior Daniel Evans for the job.
"As I've said from the beginning, the decision would be made on who we feel gives us the best opportunity to win the football game, and right now we feel Russell Wilson will do that," said O'Brien. "He will be our starter as we go but we certainly feel that Daniel [Evans] has some things he can contribute to this football team, as well. Russell is the starter and Daniel is the backup, but as Daniel knows he is one play away from being the starter."
"I'm excited to be the starter," Wilson said. "I believe Daniel and I can both step in and help this team win some games. The team is really excited to go down to South Carolina and we hope it will be a great game."
Earlier redshirt junior Harrison Beck and redshirt sophomore Justin Burke had been eliminated from the competition. Burke since decided to transfer to Louisville.
Beck will serve as the No. 3 quarterback in 2008. Highly touted freshman Mike Glennon, who was officially eliminated following the team's third scrimmage, will redshirt.
The 5-foot-11, 191 pound Wilson was the MVP of the offensive scout team last year. As a senior at The Collegiate School in Richmond, Va., Wilson completed 185 of 310 passes for 3,009 yards and 34 touchdowns with seven interceptions. He also ran 143 times for 1,132 yards and 18 more scores.
Wilson also plays second base for the baseball team, playing in 32 games and making 16 starts. In 71 at bats, Wilson had a .296 average with a pair of homers and eight runs batted in while stealing six bases in seven attempts.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity to play on Thursday," Evans said. "I know Russell is going to do a great job. Hopefully we can both help the team go down and compete against the Gamecocks."