Russell Wilson to pursue baseball

Updated: April 29, 2011, 11:16 PM ET
Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State really is moving on without quarterback Russell Wilson.

The school granted the all-ACC performer his release Friday as he pursues a professional baseball career. Wilson had not ruled out using his final year of football eligibility, but coach Tom O'Brien had said during spring drills that the Wolfpack planned to move forward with redshirt junior Mike Glennon at quarterback.

"Russell and I have had very open conversations about his responsibilities respective to baseball and football," O'Brien said in a statement. "While I am certainly respectful of Russell's dedication to baseball these last several years, within those discussions I also communicated to him the importance of his time commitment to NC State football.

"My staff and I thank him for his contributions as a member of Wolfpack football and to this university and wish him only the best in the future," he said.

Wilson had been the face of NC State's program during the past three seasons, winning the ACC's rookie of the year award in 2008 and leading the league last season in passing yardage. He also won all three starts against rival North Carolina.

But Wilson is playing second base for the Asheville Tourists, a Class A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.

"Although I remain undecided on the option of playing college football this coming season, I believe it is in the best interest of the players and coaches involved to end any speculation of my return to the Wolfpack," Wilson said in a statement. "It has become apparent that the time has come for the program to move on without me."

Wilson said he has not "closed the door" on playing football again and will explore his options.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press