Russell Wilson: 'I love Peyton Manning to death'

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson says that he "loves" Peyton Manning, ahead of their showdown at Super Bowl XLVIII.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has admitted of the admiration that he has for his Super Bowl opposite number Peyton Manning.

Wilson helped his side defeat the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday to reach the season finale, where he will face up to his hero Manning in New York next month.

Speaking to NBC Sports, the second-year star said: "Obviously, Peyton Manning is a Hall of Fame quarterback who I have a ton of respect for. I actually went to the 'Peyton Manning Passing Academy' when I was young. I liked him so much back then and I still do.

"When I was getting drafted, the Broncos brought me out to Denver and he was in the locker room and I went up and talked to Peyton. He said, 'Have I seen you before somewhere? I think I've seen you before. How 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."

The Broncos selected quarterback Brock Osweiler in the second round of the 2012 Draft instead of Wilson, allowing the youngster to become the starting option for the Seahawks.

Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos acknowledges the crowd after throwing a record 51 touchdowns in a season against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on December 22, 2013
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