Life could not have been going much better for Max Browne as he was summoned to his high school auditorium. But he was heading, unknowingly, into an ambush.
During his senior season at Skyline High in Sammamish, Wash., Browne had passed for 4,526 yards and 49 touchdowns, with just five interceptions. His team had won the state championship.
Browne poked his head into the auditorium. His classmates jumped up and cheered. From behind a door, out popped Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, holding a trophy: Browne had been chosen as the national player of the year by Gatorade.
Browne topped most of the quarterback recruiting lists that season, and some analysts said...