They’re roughly the same size (6-foot or a shade below, shorter than your average QB), possess game-breaking athletic ability, were outstanding multi-sport high school athletes, and despite impressive college stats when it comes to yardage and touchdowns, both struggled at times in college with turnovers and completion percentage.
And now that Golson is transferring, the comparisons will continue.
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Before everyone flips out and screams, “Wilson has won a Super Bowl and been there twice, Golson has no shot!” let’s recap Wilson’s college football career:
* 17-1 TD-INT ratio as a freshman at NC State, completing just 54.5% of passes
* 31 TDs as a sophomore, 3,027 yards passing, but just 59% completions
* Early in his career Wilson actually held the NCAA mark of 325 consecutive pass attempts without an interception; as a junior in 2010 he threw 14 INTs.
* Transferring to Wisconsin changed the course of Wilson’s pro prospects: 72.8% completions, 10.3 yards per attempt, NCAA-leading 191.8 rating and 33 TDs and only 4 INTs while leading the Badgers to the Rose Bowl
The rest, of course, is history: the Seahawks saw something in Wilson, drafted him in the 3rd round in 2012, he won the starting QB job in the preseason and made massive leaps during his rookie year, and he’s been to the playoffs three years in a row, with two Super Bowl trips.
Could picking the right school also change the outlook of Golson’s pro prospects?
* Like Wilson, Golson redshirted and was tremendous in his first season, helping Notre Dame get to the National Championship game. His stats were modest: 12 TDs passing, six TDs rushing, with 58.8% completions.
* The big difference between the two QBs: Golson was booted from Notre Dame for a year due to an academic incident; he returned in 2014 and threw for 3,445 yards on 60% completions with 29 TDs but also 14 INTs.
And now Golson is transferring, maybe to LSU, definitely not Ohio State, but perhaps the Pac-12.
Golson is 22 and will turn 23 in January; Wilson started his final year at Wisconsin at the age of 22 and turned 23 in November.
By comparison, Johnny Manziel doesn’t turn 23 until December, or the end of his 2nd season as a pro; Teddy Bridgewater doesn’t turn 23 until November, more than halfway through his 2nd NFL season.
With the right fit at his next stop, could Golson improve like Wilson did and become a wild card in the 2016 NFL Draft?