Long before Russell Wilson was a Super Bowl champion and one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, he was a college QB, first at NC State and then at Wisconsin, where he was teammates with now-Patriots running back James White.
And when the Seahawks quarterback learned that White's father Tyrone had died in a car crash in Florida Sunday, his former Badger teammate was on his mind. Wilson even took to Twitter less than an hour before kickoff to express his prayers for White.
After the game, a 35-30 thriller where Wilson threw five touchdowns before the Seahawks held on thanks to a last-second goal-line stand on Cam Newton, Wilson's thoughts returned to White.
When NBC's Michele Tafoya talked to Wilson in a postgame interview, the Seattle quarterback didn't start by discussing his latest strong effort on the field; he expressed his heartfelt sympathy for his former teammate.
"My heart’s heavy, because one of my teammates, James White, from Wisconsin, one of the nicest guys, teammates, one of the hardest workers, one of the best people I know, had a tough one losing his dad," Wilson told Tafoya. "My heart's been heavy all day thinking about him... James, I’m praying for you, man, if you can hear me."
You can see Wilson's full comments in the video below:
While Patriots teammates were emotional before, during, and after the game, Wilson was one of a number of NFL players on other teams to express their condolences for White.
James is one of them. Kind, gentle, loving, fiercely competitive and hardworking. His parents raised an amazing son. And we are all grieving with James as he is going through this difficult time. Love you my friend— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) September 21, 2020
Terribly saddened to hear such heartbreaking news @SweetFeet_White.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) September 21, 2020
We’re all thinking about you tonight.
Bigger than football.— Cooper Kupp (@CooperKupp) September 21, 2020
Praying for those injured across the league today, for your families, and also for your comebacks. Going to be incredible to watch.
My family and I also will be praying for James White and his family. No words...this brotherhood will be here for you.