Russell Wilson is keeping himself quite busy this offseason.
The Seattle Seahawks' Super Bowl-winning quarterback recently spent a week at spring training with the New York Yankees. Next he'll trade in his hat and glove for an interview and mentorship role as the host of QB2QB, ESPN's new four-part draft special taking the place of Jon Gruden's QB camp series.
Wilson will interview QB prospects — Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph and Ohio State's J.T. Barrett — and also sit down with Penn State RB Saquon Barkley for half-hour interviews, which begin airing on April 17.
“Russell is an ideal mentor for these young players entering the NFL. He overcame a fair amount of skepticism when he joined the league and worked hard to become one of the NFL’s top players," said Jay Rothman, producer of ESPN's Monday Night Football. "Our QB Camp series with Jon Gruden highlighted the relationship between coach and quarterback; this new iteration of the series will now explore the mentoring relationship between NFL veteran and these soon-to-be rookie players.”
Added Wilson: “Jon Gruden’s QB Camp was one of my favorite experiences of the NFL Draft process because it helped prepare me for some of the physical and mental demands of playing in the NFL. Now, I’m excited to have the opportunity to meet Baker, Saquon, Mason and J.T. to try to help them get ready for the next level as part of ESPN’s QB2QB. At the same time, I look forward to feeding off their energy and excitement as I prepare myself for the new experiences that await me this season.”
Wilson, whom the Seahawks selected 75th overall in 2012, could soon become the official face of a franchise that could completely move on from its famed "Legion of Boom" this offseason, which Pete Carroll admitted last week could be a franchise-altering one in Seattle.
For now, Wilson will take over for Gruden, the new Oakland Raiders' coach, and perhaps plant the seed for a future in broadcasting once his NFL career concludes likely many years from now. That of course assumes that Wilson, a 2013 Rule 5 draft pick of the Texas Rangers whose power stroke produced multiple batting practice dingers and caught the eye of Bronx Bomber and reigning AL home run champ Aaron Judge, doesn't have designs on returning to the diamond.