Buy Tickets for Bright Awards

Super Bowl QB Russell Wilson born in Cincinnati

1/30/2014, 3:28 p.m.
Seattle Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson, who has led his team to the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII being played Sunday, was ...
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo source: Offical Twitter account of Russell Wilson.

Seattle Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson, who has led his team to the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII being played Sunday, was born in Cincinnati, the son of the late Harrison B. Wilson III, who was a star wide receiver at Dartmouth and became a lawyer. Wilson grew up in Richmond, Virginia. His mother Tammy T. Wilson is a legal nurse concsultant.

His great-great-grandfather was a slave to a Confederate colonel and was freed after the American Civil War. Wilson's grandfather, Harrison B. Wilson Jr., is a former president of Norfolk State University, who played football and basketball at Kentucky State University.

Russell Wilson’s uncle, Ben Wilson, is managing partner at an environmental law firm in Washington, D.C. In a radio station interview, Ben Wilson describes his nephew, Russell Wilson, a second year quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks as “very intense, very competitive. Determined to succeed. He's on a relentless quest to get better."

On Sunday, Wilson will become the third Black quarterback to reach the Super Bowl.

The Wilson family origins start in Mississippi. Currently, the quarterback has roots in Cincinnati, the Chesapeake area, Richmond, Va. and the Washington D.C.

He grew up playing sports on the family condition that he would commit to his education. Private schools, Ivy League and post-graduate studies were the norm within the family.

Harrison B. Wilson III, was the last player cut in camp by the NFL's San Diego Chargers. He went on to attend law school at the University of Virginia and graduated president of his class.

"Harry taught Russell the game. But not only how to play the game, but how to respect the game," Ben Wilson said. Harrison B. Wilson III died in 2010 at the age of 55.

Russell Wilson set records in the University of Wisconsin and led the team to a Big Ten title and the 2012 Rose Bowl. He had been at North Carolina State where he threw over 90 touchdowns.

Wilson might have been a first round draft pick had he been taller than 5'10. "What Russell will tell you is that he's been that height for all his life. It requires a certain determination. It requires him to change his game ever so slightly to accommodate what God has given him," said Ben Wilson.

When Russell's dad was losing his eye sight to diabetes, Ben Wilson would travel across the country to report on his nephew's games "play-by-play, down-by down."

If the Seattle Seahawks win on Sunday, Wilson would be the second Black quarterback to win the NFL championship game.

Stats: Wilson tied Peyton Manning’s 1998 record for most TD passes by a rookie (26). He became the first rookie in NFL history to lead his team to an undefeated home record. Set a club record with a 100.0 passer rating - second-best ever by a rookie and 64.1 completion percentage was third all time.