ORLANDO, Fla. - Russell Wilson is approaching the finish or the final turn that leads to that finish.
The difference is significant.
The decision is up to him.
Tuesday he'll play quarterback for North Carolina State against West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl and make a life-altering announcement in the days afterward.
Wilson will make a lot of people happy and say he's coming back to Raleigh, N.C., to play his senior season with the Wolfpack. Or, he'll make a lot understanding people sad by deciding to skip his senior year and pursue professional football.
"It's something I've worked at every day," said Wilson, a fourth-year junior and multi-time all-Atlantic Coast Conference player.
"Since I was little I've dreamed of playing in the NFL and every single day I try to give myself the best chance I can to have that opportunity."
Wilson has the credentials. In 2008, he was the first freshman to be named the first-team all-ACC quarterback. His 1,955 passing yards and 17-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio also earned the rookie of the year award.
Last season, Wilson threw for 3,027 yards and 31 touchdowns and this year was second-team all-ACC behind the conference's offensive player of the year, Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor. Wilson completed 280-of-482 pass attempts for 3,288 yards and 28 touchdowns and added another 394 yards and nine scores rushing.
Yet, at 5-foot-11, he's small by NFL standards and he threw 14 interceptions this season, two more than he had his first two years combined. He's not near the top of the lists of quarterbacks who figure to be available in a rather deep crop in the coming draft.
Truth be told, while a fine player and a fantastic athlete, a lot of people don't suspect he'll try the NFL this offseason.
And yet, he still may be preparing for his final game. Wilson is also a baseball player who's been drafted twice, including last summer in the fourth round by the Colorado Rockies. Wilson even played in Colorado's organization for the Class A Tri-City Dust Devils.
He batted .230 with 11 RBI, but also was reliable in the outfield and committed one error while finishing with a .993 fielding percentage in 32 games.
The Rockies never objected to Wilson playing football this season because they want him to be a part of their future. That future may be near, if it's the decision he makes.
"More than anything, I look at it as an opportunity and as a blessing on my life," he said. "You can't shy away from your blessings. You can't why away from your great opportunities. You have to go full-force and attack them with everything you've got and I try to do that every single day."