Mag Minute: Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

Wilson has boy bands on his iPod. Illustration by Chip Wass

Editor's note: This is the extended version of the "Mag Minute" interview that appears in the Oct. 29 issue of ESPN The Magazine. Subscribe today!

One of a record five rookie quarterbacks to start Week 1 of the 2012 season, Russell Wilson, born and raised in Richmond, Va., was a top football, basketball and baseball player while in high school.

He was drafted out of high school by the Baltimore Orioles but chose to attend North Carolina State to play football and baseball. After three years there, he headed to Wisconsin to spend his final year of eligibility playing football with the Badgers, whom he led to the Rose Bowl while setting a season record for passer efficiency (191.1).

Despite lingering concerns from scouts and coaches about his height (or lack thereof), Wilson was drafted by the Seahawks in 2012 and has led the team to a 4-3 record.

What is the most embarrassing music you have to admit you listen to?

There’s some *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys on my iPod. I listen to it if it comes up on shuffle.

If you could go to dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Michael Jackson. I’d go to Neverland.

What was the last thing you Googled?

The Renaissance Hotel in Raleigh.

Who would you want to play you in your biopic?

Will Smith. I just love his work. He’s a great actor.

What was your most unrealistic New Year’s resolution?

To not eat red meat. That maybe lasted a week.

What movie have you seen more than any other?

"Hitch." That’s not really a chick flick, but I’m kind of a chick flick guy.

What is the best advice you ever received?

“There’s a king in every crowd.” My dad used to say that. He meant the Lord is always watching, but since [my dad] died, I take it to mean he is watching over me. It also means you never know who is watching you -- a GM, a scout, a little kid looking up to you -- so you always have to present your best self.

The worst?

That I was too short to play QB and shouldn’t do it.

Who would you say is the most media-savvy athlete?

Drew Brees. He’s very articulate and always thanks his teammates.

What living person do you most admire?

Probably Drew Brees again. He is very strong in his faith and values his family. I’ve read his book a few times.

What's your idea of a perfect day?

Get up, read my Bible, get in a workout or practice, spend time with my wife, relax. I’m a chill person.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Milk chocolate with caramel.

What is the biggest misconception about you?

That I’m too short. I’m 5-11.

What is your most irrational fear?

Jumping out of a plane. I could never do that.

What game show would you like to be a contestant on?

"American Idol." If I could sing.

What song is stuck in your head these days?

"I’m Gonna Be Ready" by Yolanda Adams.

What is your pregame meal?

The night before, I’ll have a steak. The day of the game, I’ll eat pasta. I don’t get nervous and not eat; I actually eat a lot to fuel myself through the whole game.

What place in the world do you most want to visit?

Australia and Africa. They’re beautiful places with amazing animals.

What was the best vacation you ever took?

I went on a cruise with my wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, to the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas.

What was your best Halloween costume?

I was Michael Jackson a few years ago, in his outfit from "Thriller."

What was the worst gift you ever received?

I got a lot of socks when I was little, for whatever reason.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Paula Patton.

What is one thing you did in the past that you never thought you’d do?

Go to Wisconsin.

What is your secret hidden talent?

Cooking. And grilling. I’ll make fish, chicken, anything with those things. I love it.

What talent would you most like to have?


What is your least favorite chore?

Doing the dishes.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Time travel. I could go to lunch in France and dinner in Italy and be back for a game.