Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Russell Wilson (16) is pressured by Nebraska Cornhuskers linebacker Lavonte David (4) shortly before being sacked in the first quarter at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011. M.P. King-State Journal

Michael P. King

If Russell Wilson becomes the third football player at the University of Wisconsin to win the Heisman Trophy, it will be because of performances such as the one against Nebraska last week, not any promotional ideas hatched by the school's athletic communications department.

Wilson's performance on national television in prime time on Saturday night has thrust him near the top of most Heisman polls, which are becoming a cottage industry.

The Heisman polls are too numerous to mention, but many have Wilson in the top three, along with two other quarterbacks, Stanford's Andrew Luck and Oklahoma's Landry Jones.

The UW athletic communications department has started a Twitter campaign for Wilson's Heisman chances (@RussellManiaXVI). But don't expect Wilson to be checking it out much, since he doesn't have a Twitter account.

"No, I don't follow it too much," Wilson said after practice on Wednesday night. "Brian (Lucas), the media relations guy, let's me know. That's kind of cool. I don't have Twitter, though, myself."

Fresh off the push he got nationally from the 48-17 victory over the Cornhuskers, Wilson appeared Tuesday on the ESPN television show, "Pardon the Interruption," and also Dan Patrick's nationally syndicated radio show, which also is simulcast on television.

"I watch both of those shows, so it's pretty exciting," Wilson said.

The surge of attention comes after he threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns, while also running for 32 yards and another score against the Cornhuskers.

"Russell probably worries about that about as little as any guy being mentioned in it," UW coach Bret Bielema said of the Heisman hoopla. "I can't speak for the other candidates, but Russell really takes every day for what it is."

Wilson will be featured in the upcoming ESPN show "Depth Chart," which was filmed during preseason camp and centers on the quarterbacks. The show is set to air on Oct. 19 at 6 p.m.

Wilson has been in the eye of media storm going back to his decision in the summer to transfer from North Carolina State after losing his starting job because of his decision to play minor-league baseball.

The Heisman campaign could prove rather tame by comparison.

"It's a positive thing, it means we're winning football games," Wilson said. "I think that's a good thing.

"At the same time, I've just got to keep working every single day, just like the rest of the guys, keep getting better. That's my ultimate goal, to play the best I can."

Wilson said he appreciates the history of the Heisman, which has been won by two former UW running backs, Alan Ameche and Ron Dayne.

"In today's world, it isn't about how many emails you send out any more," Bielema said. "It's not renting him a billboard. It's about playing well in big games. It's about playing well in every game."


Click here to access our app for iPhones and Android mobile devices, offering all the latest Badgers news, scores, stats, photos and more from the reporting team.