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Big Ten Football: Can the Addition of Quarterback Russell Wilson Bring Wisconsin Among Nation's Elite?

Russell Wilson isn’t exactly Cam Newton, and maybe he’s not even Terrelle Pryor, but he’s a heck of a lot better than any quarterback to play for the Badgers in quite some time.

The former North Carolina State quarterback was one of the better quarterbacks in the ACC over the last three years, and he was selected in the MLB Draft to play for the Colorado Rockies. While baseball still might be part of Wilson’s future, he wanted the opportunity to play college football for one final year, and because he had already graduated from N.C. State, he decided to head up to Madison to play for the Badgers.

ESPN college football analyst Brian Bennett thinks that Wilson has a lot of boom or bust potential this season for the Badgers, being that he is in a new system.

“I believe he can add an extra playmaking dimension that will make that Badgers offense really dangerous. Of course, he’s also in a new system and learning all new teammates in a short time, and if he struggles it could damage Wisconsin’s title hopes.”

I feel like as a “veteran” at this point, Wilson will have little trouble adjusting to a relatively simple system, and there have already been reports that he’s built solid chemistry with his new teammates at Wisconsin.

This could be a huge year for Badger football coming off of a really tough loss to the TCU Horned Frogs in last year’s Rose Bowl after a Big Ten championship. This year it will be tougher with the Big Ten hosting a championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium, making their schedule a little bit tougher than you would ideally want.

Wilson is really the key to the Badgers’ 2011 season. Their running game will be strong as always, and Wilson is a dual threat quarterback who doesn’t have impressive accuracy numbers, but he has put up big numbers and has a very strong supporting cast in Madison.

If the Badgers can get one more big season out of Wilson, they could be headed for the BCS for the second straight year.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.