Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is taking over Jon Gruden role's as host of ESPN's annual QB camp pre-draft series.
Add ESPN television host to Russell Wilson’s growing list of titles.
Well, sort of.
ESPN announced Wednesday morning that Wilson is essentially taking over the role held the last eight years by Jon Gruden, who hosted a pre-draft series of shows called QB Camp, breaking down film with and giving advice to notable draft-eligible quarterbacks.
The series featuring Wilson will be called SportsCenter Special: QB2QB with Russell Wilson and will feature a similar format.
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According to a press release from ESPN, 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.
QB2QB will premiere with all four 30-minute episodes airing in prime time Tuesday, April 17 on ESPN with the Barkley episode titled QB2RB, according to ESPN.
Also according to the press release: “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.
“QB2QB will also explore mental conditioning with Wilson and his cognitive coach Trevor Moawad. The Founder and President of Moawad Consulting Group, Moawad works with Wilson and other elite and professional athletes in self-awareness and mental skills training.”
Further from the ESPN press release:
“QB2QB follows the successful eight-year run of Jon Gruden’s popular QB Camp series. From 2010-17, Gruden, now the Oakland Raiders head coach, mentored more than 50 quarterbacks, including 17 regular starters from the 2017 NFL season. Wilson was one of Gruden’s star pupils, a member of the highly decorated 2012 QB Camp class that included No. 1 pick Andrew Luck, Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles and current NFL starters Case Keenum and Kirk Cousins, among others. Now, Wilson is giving back to the players who are in the same position he was in six years ago before he was a third-round pick by the Seahawks.
“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.”
Wilson has already had an eventful offseason, spending last week in spring training with the New York Yankees.
But apparently not to worry that he’s forsaking his usual offseason training for his real job in the fall.
Former WSU assistant coach Roy Manning, now with UCLA, tweeted Tuesday a video of Wilson working out at UCLA — Wilson has spent much of his offseason training in southern California the last few years.
The Seahawks’ official offseason program begins April 16 and until then players are free to do as they wish.