This has been one of the best years in recent memory for rookies in the NFL. The first and second overall picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin, III, have certainly lived up to their pre-season hype and expectations, both turning their teams around and taking them to the playoffs.
However, one rookie that has flown under the radar this season is Seattle Seahawks rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson. Yet after his team defeated the Washington Redskins in the NFC Wildcard game on Sunday, the spotlight may have found him.
Last season, while playing for the Wisconsin Badgers, Wilson set the NCAA record for passing efficiency (191.8) and led the Badgers to the Big 10 title. He was named the Big Ten Quarterback of the Year and earned consensus first-team All-Big Ten and third-team All-American honors. Despite his collegiate success, I am not sure that many thought Wilson, who was drafted last April in the third round, would excel so quickly at the next level.
Nevertheless, throughout the season, he quietly tied Peyton Manning‘s rookie record for passing touchdowns with 26. He was named the NFL Rookie of the Month for December, which isn’t too shabby in a year when rookies have been stealing the spotlight. During the regular season, he passed for for over 3,100 yards and added nearly 500 yards on the ground.
As impressive as his regular season number were, however, what is most impressive is that he has now led his team to the second round of the playoffs in just his first season in the league.
Something tells me we haven’t heard the last of Russell Wilson.