Pack awaits Wilson's choice for next season

Coach Tom O'Brien says the quarterback hasn't revealed whether he will return to the football field for next season.

Staff WriterDecember 13, 2010 

— N.C. State football coach Tom O'Brien didn't sound confident Sunday about the prospects of quarterback Russell Wilson returning for his senior season.

Wilson, a junior, returned to the Wolfpack after playing professional baseball over the summer in the Colorado Rockies organization. But O'Brien said next season will be a different situation.

"When he left the last time, he spent the whole spring here and was, the whole time, around us," O'Brien said. "And he wasn't being paid [last spring]. He's being paid now. And they have money. And what do I have to offer? So who knows what's going to happen."

Wilson has said many times that his goal is to be a professional in both sports. If he has decided whether he will play quarterback for N.C. State in 2011, he hasn't tipped his hand.

O'Brien said after Sunday's practice for the Champs Sports Bowl - which will be played Dec. 28 against West Virginia in Orlando, Fla. - that he hasn't spoken with Wilson about his pending decision and won't discuss the issue for a while.

"We'll figure it all out when the time is right," O'Brien said.

Wilson was a first-team All-ACC quarterback as a redshirt freshman in 2008 and has led the ACC in touchdown passes in 2009 and 2010.

Aside from Wilson, O'Brien said he isn't aware of any underclassman on the team who is contemplating leaving early for the pros.

Praise for academic support: O'Brien began his meeting with reporters Sunday by complimenting N.C. State's academic support program for receiving certification from the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics.

N.C. State announced Thursday that it has become the first ACC school to receive this certification.

"It's a great story and a great compliment for them that they are compliant with everything on the national level as far as tutorial and tutorial services," O'Brien said. "I think it's a little bigger deal than has been reported here the past couple days."

Greene OK: Freshman running back Mustafa Greene has been practicing for N.C. State despite injuring his neck on a crushing hit in the regular-season finale at Maryland.

The injury appeared severe at first, but Greene recovered quickly. O'Brien said he probably would have been available to play a week after the Maryland game if the Wolfpack had advanced to the ACC championship game.

ktysiac@charlotteobserver.com or 919-829-8942

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