On Trevone Boykin's way into the team's locker room on Thursday afternoon, his first visit to Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center as an official member of the Seahawks, the former TCU star said he ran into a certain NFL player who he's watched "plenty of times" on Sundays: Seattle's starting signal caller Russell Wilson.
The two quarterbacks, one who's been the Seahawks' No. 1 option since winning the job his rookie year in 2012 and the other a recent undrafted free agent signee, shook hands and exchanged words on the eve of the team's 2016 rookie minicamp.
"He knew who I was, I knew who he was," Boykin said of his chance encounter with Wilson. "He told me he watched a couple of my games, I told him I've watched more than enough of [his] games. It pretty much just came down to me saying I was going to stay in his hip pocket and just try to soak up everything he has to give me."
Boykin, who finished his TCU career with school records in passing yards, passing attempts, pass completions, and touchdown passes, is one of three quarterbacks in attendance at this weekend's rookie minicamp who could wind up as Wilson's backup when the regular season begins. He's joined by former Eastern Washington and Oregon standout Vernon Adams, who's participating on a tryout basis, and Sammamish, Washington native and former Skyline High School star Jake Heaps, who signed a free-agent contract earlier this week.
Boykin said he chose to sign with Seattle over Dallas in the undrafted free agent process because in his mind "there is no better coach to play for than coach Carroll" and there was "no better place for me in the National Football League" than behind a Super Bowl-winning quarterback like Wilson.
"It was pretty much a no-brainer," Boykin said of his decision to sign with the Seahawks. "If there was any coach I'd love to play for it was coach Carroll. He loves to compete and he talks about competing all of the time and that's what I'm all about."
Carroll said Boykin, who stands 6-foot and weighs 213 pounds, provides the Seahawks with a backup option at quarterback who carries a similar playstyle to the 5-foot-11, 215-pound Wilson, especially while veteran quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, the Seahawks' backup since 2013, remains unsigned.
"I've seen him for a couple years," Carroll said of Boykin. "His versatility and his style of play is so similar to Russell's. He's got a big arm, he's a very creative athlete, has great instincts and great vision. His ability to run and make people miss and get out of trouble is very similar to what Russell does. I thought that the opportunity to have both those guys in the same offense it gives us a chance - if it works out, we've got a long ways to go, if it works out - to maintain continuity with one of the backups.
"Tarvaris has been a fantastic kid for us over the years, but they're not in the same style," Carroll added. "I love Tarvaris and we'd love to have him back if that's where we go in time, but I think Boykin really is special in that regard that he's so unique and he also is unique in the way that we like to play our quarterback."
Adams, meanwhile, had tryout offers from Seattle and the Washington Redskins but no offers to sign to a team directly following the 2016 draft. He said Seattle might be his "best shot" at making an NFL roster behind Wilson and he was "just happy to be back on the field" Friday after a draft process that "seemed like it took forever."
"I was just happy just to be out here having fun, meeting my new friends and stuff like that," Adams said. "It was cool being out here."
Like Wilson, Adams stands 5-foot-11 and he's embraced comparisons to the Seahawks' quarterback during his time with the Eagles and Ducks as an unconventional and creative playmaker who likes to utilize both his arm and his legs. He was one of the most efficient quarterbacks in college football last year at Oregon, completing 64.9 percent of his passes, averaging 10.2 yards per attempt, and throwing 26 touchdowns to six interceptions. Wilson, you'll remember, finished 2015 as the NFL's top-rated passer (110.1).
"He's had a fantastic showing here at Oregon," Carroll said of Adams. "To see him play like he did and be so efficient as he was and be such a playmaker again. If you follow the logic here he plays much in the same kind of formula that Russell has played: mobile, playmaking, big arm, efficient guy."
With Adams, Carroll said he'll give the Pasadena, California native "a lot of plays" this weekend to see how he handles working in the huddle, calling plays, and making adjustments at the line of scrimmage, all things Adams was not asked to do while working in a spread offense at Oregon where offensive play calls were signaled or signed in from the sideline.
"Just recently they went about as fast as you can play and we're a little bit different than that," Carroll said of Adams' time at Oregon. "So he has to show that he can adapt to that. He's got a real nice arm and throws the ball really well, showed that today."
On the weekend's three-headed quarterback battle between Boykin, Adams, and Heaps, one that will continue Saturday at 1:30 p.m. PT, Carroll said: "We're just going to let these guys have at it and see what happens."
The first day of Seahawks Rookie Minicamp at VMAC was also the first day as a pro for many of these 68 roster hopefuls.