Russell Wilson on Peyton Manning: I love him to death

AP

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is a big fan of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. And the two could have been teammates.

Wilson recalled at his press conference today that when he was 15 years old, he traveled to the Manning family’s quarterback camp, and he learned a lot from Peyton then.

“Obviously, Peyton Manning is a Hall of Fame quarterback who I have a ton of respect for,” Wilson said. “I actually went to the Peyton Manning Passing Academy when I was young. I liked him so much back then and I still do.”

Wilson also recalled the second time he met Manning, when the Broncos brought Wilson in for a pre-draft visit, weeks after Manning signed as a free agent in Denver and weeks before Wilson was a third-round pick in Seattle.

“When I was getting drafted, through the whole draft process, the Broncos brought me out to Denver and he was in the locker room and I went up and talked to him,” Wilson said. “He said, ‘Have I seen you before somewhere? I think I’ve seen you — I’ve seen you before. Where do I know you?’ I was like, ‘You actually coached me in the Manning Passing Academy.’ I love him to death. He’s a great person first of all, and obviously a great football player.”

It’s fascinating to think about how different the NFL would be right now if the Broncos had drafted Wilson instead of Brock Osweiler in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft. If they had, the Broncos would be preparing to face some other team in the Super Bowl right now, and we’d have no idea that one of the most talented young quarterbacks to enter the NFL in years was standing on the Broncos’ sideline.

Instead, Wilson will be on the field against the Broncos on Super Bowl Sunday.