by Bonnie Barber
When NFL fans watch Russell Wilson play, they see a talented and personable young quarterback who has led the Seattle Seahawks to the NFC playoffs in each of his first two seasons and is widely expected to lead them to the 2014 Super Bowl title.
When Dartmouth alumni from the 1970s watch Wilson play, they see the spitting image of his late father, Harrison B. Wilson III ’77, who was a standout football and baseball player for the Big Green.
“In addition to looking very much alike, they run alike, their mannerisms and their facial expressions are similar, their manner of speaking is similar. So it’s really striking,” says Dartmouth Trustee Benjamin F. Wilson ’73, who was the first of the four Wilson brothers to matriculate at Dartmouth, followed by Harrison, John ’80, and Richard ’85, who passed away in 2005.
What is also striking, but not surprising to former Dartmouth classmates of “Harry B.”(as Harrison was known) is the poise, leadership, and sportsmanship his son Russell demonstrates on and off the football field. “No athlete in Seattle is more popular,” wrote The New York Times in early December. Seattle columnist Art Thiel wrote of Russell Wilson in November, “He’s a perambulating think-positive seminar, a human Hallmark card, a motivational steamroller.”