(CBS) – Russell Wilson has been silencing doubters since he first picked up a football.

At 5-foot-11, he’s seemingly too short to be a successful college – let alone NFL – quarterback.

But when Bears new head coach Marc Trestman was the offensive coordinator at N.C. State, he knew Wilson could play at an elite level.

“(Trestman) was the guy that said, ‘This guy can play.’ I already knew that,” Wilson told The McNeil and Spiegel Show. “I knew my ability, but he came up to me and he was the coach that said, ‘This guy can play. We need to offer this guy (a scholarship) right now.’ So, N.C. State offered me (a scholarship) right on the spot. Coach Trestman knew that I had the ability. I have a lot of respect for coach Trestman. I talk to him probably once a week, maybe a little bit less than that. I talk to him a good amount. We’ve always kept in touch over the years.

“A lot of guys thought I could play, but they didn’t know if I could play just because of my height, but he knew that I could.”

Wilson, as you remember, torched the Bears for 293 yards and two touchdowns in the Seahawks’ win at Soldier Field this season.

Wilson also said Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will benefit from Trestman’s presence.

“Jay Cutler is a tremendous quarterback with a live, live arm and a lot of athletic ability,” Wilson said. “Some people underestimate his ability to maneuver. (Trestman) will do a great job with Jay Cutler. I know that coach Trestman is a tremendous coach and I have so much respect for him.”