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Saturday, March 02, 2024
Bielema: Russell Wilson will have to prove himself

Bielema2: Head coach Bret Bielema has said numerous times that he isn't going to just hand Russell Wilson the starting quarterback job. The job is his for the taking but Wilson will have to have a strong showing in fall camp.

Bielema: Russell Wilson will have to prove himself

CHICAGO— For everybody that assumed Russell Wilson would walk into Camp Randall Stadium and assume the starting quarterback position for the Badgers this fall by default, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema has news for you.

While answering questions at the 2011 Big Ten media days in Chicago Bielema reiterated that the starting job will not be handed to the much-heralded transfer from N.C. State. He will have to earn it by proving himself in practice. Bielema even mentioned that he has yet to see Wilson take a competitive snap from under center this summer and until he does he won't make a call about who will be UW's starting signal caller.

""I was very open with Russell during the recruiting process,"" Bielema said. ""You will have an opportunity to come in and show us what you can do.""

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""I think that's one of the things that attracted him to our program. We were honest, truthful. That's what we said, come it, have this opportunity, take full advantage of it and you'll be the guy that reaps the rewards.""

Many people have a hard time seeing Wilson as the ""potential"" Badger starter given the reputation he has and the hype that surrounds him as he steps on campus, but Bielema is intent on making him work for the anointment that many have already bestowed upon Wilson. 

Bielema also talked up Wilson's character calling it a major reason that he was willing to bring in a transfer player to fill a high profile position—something Wisconsin has never been known to do.

""No matter how good a football player Russell Wilson is, the first thing I wanted to find out is what kind of person he is,"" Bielema said. ""I wanted to make sure that I wasn't recruiting somebody that was going to potentially be a problem at Wisconsin.""

""He's a stand-up guy, great character. Just a really, really neat kid.""

The news of Wilson's transfer to UW was the major positive headline in the Big Ten conference this summer and some of the head coaches of the Badgers' rivals chimed in one what they made of Wisconsin's big-name addition.

""Anytime you have a high-profile player in there it creates excitement,"" Illinois head coach Ron Zook said. ""It creates stories and that once again raises the level of interest in the game.""

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