It seems like a natural fit, even if the circumstances are anything but. Quarterback Russell Wilson and N.C. State parted ways last week for reasons primarily having to do with Wilson's burgeoning professional baseball career.
Wilson later told the Charlotte Observer that "I really want the fans, N.C. State alumni and most of all my teammates to know if I had been given an equal opportunity to compete for the starting job, I would not have asked for my release. I am a competitor."
He also indicated that he would like to play one more year of college football. Now the only issue is finding a school in need of his services. Turns out, teams are beating down his door. According to ESPN.com's Joe Schad, "Wilson has been contacted by multiple unidentified SEC schools and hopes to play for a BCS automatic qualifying team outside the ACC, the source said. Among the SEC schools that could be interested in a transfer quarterback are South Carolina and Auburn."
Those are big-time programs, and perhaps Wilson will ultimately land in the SEC. But that doesn't mean quarterback-needy teams in, say, the Big East can't dream big.
UConn could use a quarterback. Spring practice came and went without any resolution on the position. Partly by design (new head coach Paul Pasqualoni said a decision wouldn't be reached until the fall) but also because no player made claim to the job. Instead of forcing it on an inexperienced quarterback not yet ready for the responsibility, Wilson, who has one year of eligibility remaining would make a lot of sense.
The problem, unfortunately, is that the Huskies seldom win the recruiting battle with the SEC. Details via ESPN.com's Brian Bennett:
When I heard the Wilson news, I started thinking about Big East teams that could use him. The two most obvious ones are Louisville and Connecticut, since they are the two Big East teams that do not have a returning starting quarterback for 2011. And though at UConn he could learn from the same coaches who tutored Donovan McNabb, I can't imagine him going to Storrs.
Stranger things have happened. (Hey, McNabb went to Syracuse. OK, Syracuse was actually competitive back then, but maybe Wilson doesn't know that.) So, yes, it's a long shot, which means that the Huskies' QB search will be in-house.
Pasqualoni would probably prefer more dynamic candidates, but at least UConn has its defense to fall back on should the offense get off to a slow start.