Bo Jackson says Russell Wilson should focus on football, not baseball


Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) against the Denver Broncos during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There hasn’t been a more successful two-sport athlete than Bo Jackson.

Jackson is the only professional athlete named an MLB All-Star and an NFL Pro-Bowler. He scored 16 touchdowns in four NFL seasons and hit 141 home runs in nine years in the Majors.

But he thinks that that kind of success is a thing of the past and potential two-sport athletes, like Russell Wilson, should focus on one sport at a time.

“Stick to whatever sport you’re comfortable with and let everything else go,” Jackson said to on Tuesday.

He said Wilson, who spent a day at spring training earlier this month with the Texas Rangers, should stick to football as a professional athlete, because he has a greater chance to succeed while focusing on a single sport.

“Twenty-five or 30 years ago when I did it, I’m not trying to say anything negative about other athletes, but the talent pool wasn’t that deep,” Jackson said. “In this day in age, with all the high-tech training, computer-engineered workouts and the proper food and diet, if you try to concentrate on two sports, I guarantee you’re going to ride the bench in both because the talent is that deep.”

Wilson said earlier this month that he has “always had the dream of playing two sports” and he has in the past, just not at the same time.

Before enrolling at Wisconsin in 2011 and focusing solely on football, Wilson played two seasons of Class A ball with a Colorado Rockies affiliate. There, he hit for a .229 average with five homers and 26 RBIs in 315 games.

But choosing football has worked out in all the best ways.

At 25, Wilson is the third-youngest quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl and with his third season coming up in 2014, he is just starting to hit his prime.

Jackson thinks its because of all this that Wilson should focus on football right now.

“If you try to do both you’re going to be riding the bench in both,” he said. “You’ll never get to that level that you want to get to if you split your time between multiple sports.”