EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Russell Wilson doesn't fit the profile.
There aren't many third-round picks who quarterback their teams to a Super Bowl title. Or 5-foot-11 quarterbacks. Or second-year quarterbacks. But there he was after the game, wearing a Seahawks championship hat and speaking a mile a minute about the odds he overcame.
Wilson is also just the second black quarterback to win a Super Bowl, joining Washington's Doug Williams. Wilson's size, draft status, experience and certainly his color don't matter. He's one of the game's rising stars, a player who meshes intense preparation with a spectacular skill set.
"It's something I think about, being the second African-American quarterback to win, that's something special and it's real," Wilson said. "There are certainly guys before me that tried to change the game and have done a great job of it. God is so good, man. It doesn't matter what you look like. It doesn't matter if you're black or white, Latino or Asian. It doesn't matter if you're 5-11. It's the heart that you have."
Wilson was the 75th pick of the 2012 draft. He slid because of his size. He seized the Seattle starting job in preseason as a rookie and has been very good ever since. Against the Broncos he was 18-of-25 for 206 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. His numbers were better than the great Peyton Manning.
Wilson is the fourth second-year quarterback to win a Super Bowl, joining Tom Brady, Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger.
"I told the guys, 'Why not us?'" Wilson said. "It's only my second year but I believed in the guys around me."
Wilson actually looked a bit nervous early on when he missed a wide-open Zach Miller on a rollout. He quickly settled down. That he was shaky on any plays was a bit of a surprise. Even though he's young, his teammates rave about how they never see him rattled. Maybe that goes back to the road he took to get to this point.
Wilson expressed his appreciation for the Seahawks taking a chance when they drafted him in the third round two years ago. Five picks earlier the quarterback-needy Jaguars took a punter instead of Wilson. Seattle saw something in him. Even though the Seahawks couldn't have figured that Wilson would be their starting quarterback in a Super Bowl win this soon, he has seamlessly translated what he did at Wisconsin to the NFL.
"Russell's not a stats guy," Seahawks general manager John Schneider said. "He's a guy that's about winning games."
He won the biggest game of his life on Sunday. His future is very bright. He had to overcome some obstacles to win his first championship. There's no reason he can't add more rings before he's done.
"I believed in myself," Wilson said. "My confidence was never going to waver."
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