Russell Wilson's commencement speech at Wisconsin this weekend was a little loose on facts for the sake of mythologizing the quarterback's careers in football and baseball. Reaction to that speech has been across the board, but I'm not sure anything has been quite as forceful as the indictment of Wilson that former NC State offensive lineman Kalani Heppe wrote Sunday night.
Damn. pic.twitter.com/wqOVUkTPL6— Bronce the 4th (@bronceIV) May 16, 2016
(hat tip to Bronce)
Heppe's final season at NC State was Russell Wilson's redshirt season (2007). It's pretty telling that he'd admit off the bat that he despises Tom O'Brien but then go on to defend the coach. (Heppe was recruited by Chuck Amato and played for both Amato and TOB.)
Those are some, uh, strong words. Maybe Wilson was far more polarizing in the locker room, even that far back, than we could have guessed. If he rubbed a senior the wrong way like that, it seems like we have to be missing a few chunks of the picture. Among other things, Heppe calls BS on Wilson's bizarre "we're moving you to safety" story, which smelled like a rather generous re-imagining of events, to put it kindly.
Other reactions were a wee bit more measured.
TOB had only three words in response to Wilson's speech:
Just got a text from Tom O'Brien with his response to Russell Wilson's speech: "Good for him."— Joe Giglio (@jwgiglio) May 15, 2016
I can picture the smirk as he texted those words.
And of course, early this afternoon, Russell Wilson did what he always does--try to be all things to everyone and make everybody happy.
I Love @NCState Too! Many TDs & Games won, Many classmates, fans & friends. Most importantly, a degree!— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) May 15, 2016
Congrats '16 Class!#TurnNoIntoYes
Russell, that hashtag ... what say we don't make that one a keeper.
Grateful for two great Universities for assisting me in my dreams! @NCState & @UWMadison #DreamsDoComeTrue— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) May 15, 2016
So long and thanks for all the football, Russ.