It was supposed to last 90 minutes.

The future Super Bowl champion and nine-time Pro Bowler presented his life plans to his soon-to-be agent as Russell Wilson and Mark Rodgers spent four hours together over lunch.

The new Denver Broncos quarterback was playing sports at NC State.

The 21-year-old Wilson wore a suit when he met his friend at a restaurant for the first time.

Wilson's Hall of Fame talent and news conference clichés weren't the only things they talked about.

Rodgers was interested in how Wilson was shaped by his late father and how he could have so many ideas. It was amazing. It wasn't about the two sports. It was about something that happened in the past. It was about something else. It was about the business world. Someday, it was going to be about owning a team in the National Football League.

Following his trade from Seattle to Denver, Wilson will begin his second act in the National Football League. The Broncos are scheduled to open against the Seahawks on Monday night. Here are stories about who he is and how he got to this point.

Calm in the face of a literal storm

Russell Wilson took a swing with the Asheville Tourists in 2011. Tony Farlow/Asheville Tourists

As the sky turned dark over Rome, Georgia, the Tourists hid in a tunnel. The minor league baseball game against the Rome Braves was canceled and tornado watches were issued because of the forecast.

The tourists contemplated hunkering down at a restaurant because their hotel didn't have enough shelter. At the request of the Braves, the city of Asheville took refuge in a small space between the Braves' dugout and locker room.

The nerves were damaged. Russell Wilson was calm.

Joey Wong said that the tornado could be heard a few miles away when they opened the door. Russ was making people laugh and telling stories at the same time.

The outbreak of tornadoes killed more than 300 people in six states but Rome was spared. After about an hour and a half, the team was given the all-clear. The tourists went back to the hotel to rest after a long day of sightseeing. He played in both games.

Wilson has a $25 million house with a nine-car garage in the Denver suburbs, but a decade ago his life was much different. He spent a lot of time in cramped, smelly buses, eating off per diems, and staying next to a waffle house.

After being selected by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB draft, Wilson played a summer at the Low-A Tri-City Dust Devils. It was less than three years before Wilson would lead the Seattle Seahawks to a Super Bowl title.

Tom O'Brien made it clear he didn't want his quarterback to play two sports after he graduated from NC State. Wilson wanted to take football recruiting trips during the team's off days.

The college pitchers he was facing were not as good as the pitchers he was facing. It's easier to hit them when you're a full time baseball player. Things clicked for Wilson a few months into the season. He hit.270 in June and had an on-base percentage of.800. He committed to Wisconsin late in the month and left the Tourists to prepare.

Wilson appeared on a college football show on TV the day after he left, while the city was on a bus trip. The bus made a loud noise.

I think Russell Wilson would've played in the major leagues. The work ethic. Something began to click. If you just give him two or three years of facing better pitchers, I think he would have been able to play in the field.

There has never been a player in baseball that had that drive. It was correct. It was not fake. There was no eye wash there.

Wasting no time at Wisconsin

Russell Wilson led the Badgers to a Big Ten championship during his one year at Wisconsin. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Before Wilson wrote his own scouting reports on opponents for his teammates, he carried around note cards filled with small letters.

He did not have his pockets left at Wisconsin in 2011.

"One side was the concept, and if you flipped it over, it was different defenses, what side of the route scheme you would go to against Cover 2, Cover 3, Cover 4," said Bradie Ewing, a Wisconsin fullback and co- captain with Wilson. The attention to detail was top notch. He would pull them out at random.

Wilson was a graduate transfer from NC State. He didn't waste any of the 190 days he was at Wisconsin.

Wilson started organizing sessions. Less than two months after committing to the program, he commanded the huddle and was elected a co- captain.

"I didn't see any hesitancy or fear at all," he said. He has the ability to lead and pull a group together.

The coach was not allowed to watch summer workouts, but he was able to see the view from his office balcony.

When the guys watched him work, and more importantly, when the guys saw him throw, they realized he was at a different level. Everybody liked him in a short time.

Wilson threw off his back foot at the first preseason practice. The ball knocked him over.

We were wondering what just happened. "He said that."

When he got back, he walked over to Paul. Two men are smiling.

"This is different," he said.

The plays were installed by Wilson and Chryst. The first thing they did was put in what Wisconsin had done before. Wilson picked his favorite things. Some of the passes should be run toward the field or the boundary side.

Wisconsin's coach said that it was enjoyable. It made me see the world in a different way. We began to comprehend each other.

Wilson made only one incorrect play call that season, and was angry. Wilson focused on how he traveled.

The dude drank three quarts of water. They would bring him the biggest bottle of water. He drank on the plane and on the bus from the airport. Always trying to get better.

Wilson had a great season at the University of Wisconsin, completing 72.8% of his passes for 3,175 yards and 33 touchdown.

The Big Ten title was his second in a row.

"A great player to the best of his ability." He could make a difference.

'One of the most significant things that I do'


Wilson's best moment as a Seahawk came in less than four minutes, when he led the team to a victory in the playoffs.

Seattle trailed the Green Bay Packers 19-7 late in the fourth quarter after four turnovers from Wilson, two of which were recovered by the Packers. The chance of the defending champion returning to the Super Bowl seemed to have been ruined by a disastrous day for the offense.

Wilson remained neutral as usual.

The lateTrevor Moawad had taught him.

Wilson had a mental-conditioning coach named Moawad who died of cancer last year. Full-time employees who carry a combined annual cost to Wilson is believed to be in the neighborhood of seven figures.

Wilson's attention was focused on Moawad's area. They had worked together since before his first season, with 90-minute brain-training sessions every week that were either done in person or over the phone. Wilson's phone was frequently buzzing with encouraging messages from Moawad.

What it takes is what it takes.

The best is yet to come.

Wilson described Moawad's work as one of the most significant things that he does.

Moawad said that Russell is a collection of world class behaviors. He has a lot of gifts, but he has a lot of quirks. He wouldn't be who he is if he didn't act like that.

Moawad believed that neutral thinking was a fact-based mindset that was neither positive nor negative. When the Packers scored 15 points to force overtime before Wilson threw the game-winning touchdown pass, it was one of Wilson's most unlikely examples of neutral behavior.

Wilson had one of his 35 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime.

Moawad said that he wasn't pretending that he didn't throw any picks. There's still five minutes to go. Even the most skeptical people know that five minutes hasn't happened yet, so how are we going to play that time? We don't have to concede those five minutes.

Wilson is working with a personal trainer who has worked with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Wilson was scrolling on his phone during a sleepless night when he came across a video of a man named Grover and he knew he had to speak to him. Two people are talking every day.

Wilson said that he couldn't put a value on how much that means, just to have that in his world.

Wilson lost more than a coach when Moawad passed away. His best friend also died.

Wilson said goodbye to Moawad last September and wished to speak to him again. I will see you again." Don't forget to see you again.

The best is yet to come.

'He can be a little corny'

They pull him out of the water. Wilson instantly delivers those phrases and clauses into any conversation.

Leadership, team chemistry, family, down time, travel, fitness, even the weather. There is no topic too large to avoid in the most serious of fashions.

He adds words such as "amazing" or "gift" or "responsibility" or "demand excellence" to it all. "New wineskins" will be a biblical reference. He uses "Let's ride" as a signoff to all of his public appearances and group interviews.

#BroncosCountry , LET'S RIDE!

— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) June 2, 2022

Over the summer, the new phrase was the subject of a lot of mockery. Wilson has been the center of the swirl before. Wilson was the focus of a social media dissection when he posted a self-shot video calling himself "Mr. unlimited."

When they ask u somethin'... tell 'em ur..... #UNLIMITED

— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) May 19, 2018

Your rolled eyes will be damned, even though Wilson stays on message, walking, talking, throwing, scrambling, globe-trotting motivational tsunami.

He doesn't worry about what people think.

Wilson stated that winning is everything. It's the only thing I have left to think about. I want to prove everything when I come to Denver. I don't try to impress anyone else because I believe you prove yourself to yourself.

Wilson's messages aren't new because there are so many platforms to spread them. Those who have paid attention are aware of this.

Some people reached out to me from the Broncos and wanted to know what it was like. Russ gets a bit of heat but he's a genuine person through and through. He would be the hardest-working, most detailed person you could have. The man is driven by success. He does everything he can to embody that. There's nothing false about that.

"When he's leading the huddle or out on the practice field or in some of his videos, it does feel a little bit fake and cliché, but that's Russell," he said. He has passion and it's contagious. It is enjoyable to be around.

Since the beginning of his career, it has been there. The then-23-year-old Wilson had a plan to succeed in the league.

He said it was about the pursuit of excellence. Applying the lessons you've learned to where you want to go is the constant pursuit of excellence. There is no substitute for the work.

Rod Smith, a teammate of John Elway's and a guest of the team, said it's all about being authentic.

Smith said that you lead how you lead. Guys are going to listen if you have a ring, if you've been in the Pro Bowls, if you have a ring. If you work harder than everyone else, you can say it any way you please, and guys will listen because they want what you have and you can get them there.

The Broncos agreed to a five-year contract extension with Wilson that could be worth up to $245 million. It doesn't matter inside the team's complex if it's hokey, corny or heavy-sigh-inducing.

Calvin Anderson said that his presence was different. A person who just won the Super Bowl and was to the Pro Bowl is in the room. You feel his energy when he walks into the room. Coming from a leadership position, I think that is helpful.

Turning to Manning after Manning turned the wrong way

Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning shake hands after Super Bowl XLVIII. Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

Manning was the greatest quarterback to change teams with so much of his career left. Manning left the Indianapolis Colts in 2012 to join the Denver Broncos. While Manning would eventually lead the Broncos to two Super Bowls over the next four years, his first few days in his new city were far from perfect.

Manning said that he was thinking about all of the things he wanted to do, how he would go about doing something different from what he had done for the last 14 years. I realized I was going the wrong way after looking up. One of my earliest memories was trying to find a place to turn around.

Wilson didn't have to squint into the sun to see the reflective letters on the road signs, he has arrived in the correct direction.

On March 16th, Wilson was introduced as the Broncos' franchise quarterback and already wore an orange tie. Wilson has turned hisacclimation period into a flurry of appearances, meetings, extra practices and hallway conversations. He wants to send a message to the team that has been without a quarterback since Manning retired.

Wilson called Manning to start it all.

I called him right away because I wanted to know what he thought about the city and what he did for schools. I wanted to know about the team, what he thought went well, and what he might have changed for the better. Wilson has gone a long way to talk, engage, push and fire off more than a few motivational missives, according to his teammates. Greg Dulcich said that he was a Hall of Fame dude.

Wilson took a vacation to London with the coach's family, which included a concert by Ed Sheeran at Wembley Stadium, the same stadium where the Broncos will play on October 30.

"I stay busy and try to accomplish as much as possible -- family, football, things that are important to you off the field -- but I still look at him and wonder how he does it." I think he's committed to commitment. He became important to the team immediately, the way he got to know us, the way he led from the jump. I think he made the most of it. He made a lot of changes.

Always there for his sister

Russell Wilson takes a photo of his sister, Anna, cutting down the nets after earning a trip to the Final Four with Stanford during the 2022 NCAA tournament. James Snook/USA TODAY Sports

Anna Wilson doesn't know how many games her brother went to. Maybe a quarter of a century.

Russell flew in for a while. He would sit in the stands and talk to her after the game, then leave. Russell is younger than Anna. Anna remembers the day their dad died vividly.

Anna said that she and Russell were at her father's side when he passed away. I remember him telling me that he was going to help me through everything that I was going through. Russell has been there in all of my big moments.

Anna missed most of her freshman season because of concussions and a foot injury. She applied for a fifth year of eligibility but the NCAA denied her request. She told Russell that she was going to play her final regular-season game.

Anna was wearing a jersey when they met. Russell didn't allow her to say what she wanted to do.

He said that he doesn't think she's done giving to the team. You have more leadership and basketball to play.

Anna began to cry. She would never play again. She wasn't aware that the NCAA tournament would be stopped in a week. Anna left for San Diego to train with her brother after they were told to leave campus. She was able to catch passes from him while he was away.

Russell helped her rewrite her appeal letter. The NCAA granted her appeal.

Anna swarmed Aari McDonald in the final seconds of the national championship game, forcing her to miss a desperation shot. She was a national champion.

If Russell hadn't told me I had more to give, I wouldn't have had the chance.

The younger Wilson was granted a sixth season because of COVID-19, and the woman who couldn't play due to injury played 160 games, fourth-most in NCAA history.

Wilson, who did not hear her name called in the NBA draft, is training for a marathon and working for a creative agency. Her place of business? There is a city in the United States called Denver.

She works from home so she can be near Russell.