By TOM LEA
MADISON – There’s probably no legitimate way to test the impact it’s had or will have, but it seems to be pretty universal that having Russell Wilson as a NFL starting quarterback will have some sort of benefit for the University of Wisconsin football team.
Because it doesn’t happen often — Randy Wright, playing for the Green Bay Packers, was the last Badger alumnus to start an NFL game as a rookie way back in 1984 — one could imagine the impact Wilson will have on the university even though his playing days are done.
“I hope so,” UW head coach Bret Bielema said during his Monday press conference. “Still trying to get him to do his ‘On Wisconsin’ thing at the end. I don’t know where we lost that.
“But, yeah, any type of exposure is great exposure.”
Bielema has always been quick to point out the stat that says his team has sent more people to the NFL than any other collegiate program over the past handful of years, one that includes free agents that sign deals after going undrafted.
“And I think we’ve had more first round draft picks in the last few years than anybody else in the Big Ten, or we’ve tied for it,” Bielema said. “There are all these numbers. It’s hard to hide how much success we’ve had.
“And to be quite honest we’ve got nine seniors and I would say five to six of them for sure are draftable guys. Even though they’re low numbers, they’re really good players.”
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