NCSU QB says brace doesn't slow him

Staff writerSeptember 15, 2009 

Quarterback Russell Wilson's knee brace was a topic of debate among N.C. State fans after he was sacked six times in the 7-3, season-opening loss to South Carolina.

Fans wondered why Wilson, who was so elusive while earning first-team All-ACC honors last season, didn't have any big rushing gains and couldn't avoid South Carolina's defenders more easily.

Wilson now wears a brace on his right knee after suffering a torn posterior cruciate ligament that didn't require surgery in the Papajohns.com Bowl. So fans wondered:

— Is the brace slowing him down?

— Is he focused more on finding receivers downfield now and more reluctant to turn on the jets?

— Were South Carolina's defenders just extremely fast?

During his weekly news conference this morning, Wilson said that if he's heard any of those questions, they've gone in one ear and out the other. He said he's still fast with the brace on.

"It doesn't slow me down," Wilson said. "I've been wearing it for a while now, so I'm used to it and everything. I don't even think about it."

Wilson didn't scramble much in Saturday's win over Gardner-Webb. But he did show a burst of speed one time as he ran toward the N.C. State sideline for a 12-yard gain in that game.

"I know my speed," he said, smiling. "I know that I can still run. Plenty fast."

Coach Tom O'Brien is taking Wilson's word for it.

"He says it doesn't (slow him down)," O'Brien said. "I have to trust him."

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