ESPN will debut SportsCenter Special: QB2QB with Russell Wilson next month featuring the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl champion quarterback mentoring top prospects in advance of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Participants will include quarterbacks Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State) and J.T. Barrett (Ohio State), and running back Saquon Barkley(Penn State), a projected top-five pick.
Wilson will host one-on-one conversations with each player later this month where he will discuss his own NFL experiences from the past six seasons, including making the transition from college to the NFL, winning and losing Super Bowls, being the face of an NFL franchise, starting over with new coaches, and building relationships with teammates.
“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 ESPN Monday Night Football producer Jay Rothman, who will oversee the project along with producer Josh Hoffman. “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.”
This is kind of strange, an active player doing the interviews instead of Gruden. They should have found another former coach. Just another thing to sidetrack Russell. With baseball and hosting duties, how does he find time to perfect his craft?