Wilson returns to dad's stomping grounds

SAN DIEGO – Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said he looks forward to playing at Qualcomm Stadium because it brings back memories of his father, Harrison Wilson III, who tried out for the San Diego Chargers as a receiver during the 1980 season.

Harrison Wilson III was one of the final cuts that year, as San Diego chose to keep four receivers because of the versatility of a talented tight end named Kellen Winslow.

Harrison Wilson III graduated from Dartmouth, where he played football and basketball. He later attended law school at the University of Virginia. But after receiving his law degree, Wilson was invited to training camp with the Chargers in 1980.

There, he and Winslow were roommates. Winslow said the fleet-footed Wilson probably would have made the team as the fifth receiver, but the Chargers decided to keep four tight ends instead because of Winslow’s ability to line up on the perimeter.

Winslow said they called Harrison Wilson III “The Professor” because of the large-framed glasses he used to wear on the field.

“That’s his dad,” Winslow said, when asked Russell Wilson’s on-field personality. “He’s smart, organized and very athletic.”

Wilson’s father died in 2010 the age of 55 after a long battle with diabetes.

Russell Wilson said he remembers his father singing “San Diego Super Chargers” -- the team’s unofficial fight song -- and that the first football he threw a spiral with was a Chargers’ football.

Wilson even sang the first verse of “San Diego Super Chargers” during a conference call with San Diego-area reporters on Wednesday.

Wilson played for about a quarter during a preseason game at Qualcomm Stadium last year. But Sunday’s game against the Chargers will be his first chance to play there during a regular-season game.

“To back there and play the Chargers will be a very special moment,” Wilson said. “But I always believe he’s there with me though, no matter what stadium we’re playing in, home or away. I believe my dad has the best seat in the house.”

As for the matchup, Wilson said that the long layoff between his team’s season-opening victory against Green Bay on Thursday night and Sunday’s contest should not affect Seattle’s ability to execute against the Chargers.

“I definitely believe it gives us a lot of energy,” Wilson said. “It gives us our legs back. Coach [Pete] Carroll does a tremendous job of giving us a good break, but also keeping football in our mind and allowing us to do some practice, getting back in our groove and focusing on the fundamentals of the game.”