He said he became a Christian when Jesus visited him in a dream when he was a teen.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, he was raised in Richmond, Virginia. His father was a lawyer, a former Dartmouth football and baseball player and the son of a Norfolk State University president. Harrison Wilson III, who died June 9, 2010, from complications related to diabetes at age 55, encouraged his son to play both football and baseball.
"Of course, Russell did play both sports. The Colorado Rockies drafted him the day before his father died, and he was pulling in six figures during minor league stints when he wasn’t in-season as N.C. State’s quarterback," according to Sports Illustrated.
He played football and baseball at North Carolina State University before transferring to University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was already engaged for five months to his high school sweetheart Ashton Meem, with whom he had a long distance relationship while she attended the University of Georgia.
"He was a god in Madison, but he didn't handle it like a college kid,” said former Wisconsin teammate Aaron Henry. “Once he started having a little bit of success you found out if God was real or not for him. Girls coming at him at 100 mph. I was with him one night and I watched him pushing girls away. Any other person would’ve taken that and ran with it.”
Life moves quickly for Wilson. He married in January 2012, and three months later he was selected in the third round of the NFL draft.
Last year, months after winning the Super Bowl, he quietly filed for divorce from his wife of two years, saying, "I have made the difficult decision to file for divorce."
These days, Wilson talks and Tweet about his Christian faith, pretty much any opportunity he has.