It's been nearly a month since Russell Wilson was released from N.C. State to pursue his final year of college football elsewhere. But he has yet to pick a destination. Because Wilson, a second-team All-ACC quarterback last season as well as a fourth-round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies, earned his degree, Wilson is free to play football immediately (outside the Atlantic Coast Conference) but for only one season. Wilson is currently playing second baseman for the Asheville Tourists. If he decides to play one more season, who needs him most? Here are some potential landing spots for Wilson. -- Lisa Horne
The Tigers have massive personnel losses this year including Heisman-winner Cam Newton. If any team could use a veteran quarterback, it's Auburn and coach Gene Chizik (pictured). It's not like the Tigers are unfamiliar with this one-and-done situation — Newton was a junior college (Blinn College) transfer and played only one season with the Tigers before being selected No. 1 in the NFL draft. The question is, would Wilson really want to play on an offense that lost eight starters?
Scott Tolzien has graduated and his departure leaves three quarterbacks on the depth chart — Jon Budmayr (pictured), Joel Stave and Joe Brennan. Budmayr won the starting job this spring (with three games and 10 pass attempts on his resume) after veteran Curt Phillips suffered an ACL injury. The Badgers are maxed-out at 85 scholarships after Zach Brown's transfer, so the coaches will have to get "creative" in making room for Wilson if he's wanted.
Jake Locker is gone. Head coach Steve Sarkisian named Keith Price (pictured) as his starting quarterback to no one's surprise — Price played in eight games last season and started against Oregon when Locker was hurt. Nick Montana and Erik Wilson are the backups. But both of these quarterbacks are young, so asking them to hold a clipboard for one more year wouldn't be entirely catastrophic.
Kevin Prince is rehabbing from injury, Richard Brehaut had a rough 2010 and true freshman Brett Hundley (pictured) is still learning how to slow down the game in front of him. Head coach Rick Neuheisel needs a field general right now for three reasons: to give the offense some badly needed confidence, to put butts in seats at the Rose Bowl and to keep his job in Westwood.
Sure the Huskies have a famous trick shot quarterback in Johnny McEntee, but it takes more than tricks to win games. After Oklahoma spanked Connecticut 48-20 in the Fiesta Bowl, things got worse — head coach Randy Edsall left the program. After the spring practices, new coach Paul Pasqualoni (pictured) announced redshirt sophomore Michael Box as the starter with these stats from the 2010 season on his resume: 6 of 17 passes for a 35 percent completion average, no touchdowns and one interception. Hmmm.
It's hard to believe the Gators are on this list, but let's look at the options: John Brantley did not live up to expectations in 2010, Trey Burton moved to another position, Tyler Murphy is signal-calling from the sidelines but should compete for the position and both Jeff Driskel (pictured) and Jacoby Brissett are true freshmen. A veteran quarterback like Wilson should be able to comprehend offensive coordinator Charlie Weis' playbook. Bonus: Gainesville is a one hour flight to Asheville, N.C.
It wouldn't be a spring without quarterback Stephen Garcia in some sort of state of suspension. Head coach Steve Spurrier, at a recent booster club event, hinted that Garcia would come back, saying, "Garcia will probably … well, he's got a chance of coming back.” What the Gamecocks need is some stability at the quarterback position — that's something that has been missing since Spurrier, a former Heisman winning QB, has been in charge at Columbia.
Since Terrelle Pryor (picutred) will miss the first five games of the season, why not put Wilson under center? What if Wilson did a phenomenal job for half of the season? If your quarterback beat Miami, Colorado and Michigan State, would you pull him and play a rusty Pryor at Nebraska on Oct. 8? Doubtful. None of the Buckeyes' backups have any real game experience though true freshman Braxton Miller turned some heads in spring ball. Wilson at Ohio State has win-win all over it since Pryor isn't very popular in Columbus right now.
I'm pretty sure Houston Nutt (pictured) would find a way to make room for Wilson. Nathan Stanley's decision to transfer leaves Randall Mackey, Zack Stoudt (JUCO transfer), and Barry Brunetti (transfer from West Virginia) to battle it out for the starting spot — Mackey has the most experience and according to Nutt, has overcome a speech impediment problem. Still, Ole Miss plays in the SEC West — it needs an experienced quarterback who is athletic enough to run the Wildcat. Wilson fits the bill.
The Wildcats are in a precarious situation — quarterback Carson Coffman graduated and there's not a lot to cheer about. Kansas State brought in Blinn College's Justin Tuggle, a former Boston College transfer, to compete for the starting spot against Collin Klein and Sammuel Lamur. With games against Miami (Fla.), Missouri, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M, Kansas State needs someone who can keep up with the pass-happy Big 12 teams. Wilson is just the guy to do it.