Tyler Wilson knows what it takes to be a great quarterback, just ask Greenwood High School coach Rick Jones.
Wilson was making headlines before he ever donned a Razorback jersey. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound quarterback had one of the most prolific high school careers in Arkansas history, passing for over 8,000 yards and 93 touchdowns while leading his team to three straight state titles.
His offensive production continued into last season, his first as a starter.
Wilson’s 2011 Razorbacks went 11-2, tying the school’s single-season record. Wilson finished the year passing for 3,638 yards and 24 touchdowns with just six interceptions, becoming the second quarterback in school history to throw for 3,000 yards in a single season. His 63.2 completion percentage was the third-highest single-season total in school history and ranked third in the SEC.
The Greenwood, Ark., native capped off his record-breaking year by becoming the first Razorback to be named first-team All-SEC quarterback on the AP and coaches’ teams.
Wilson announced Jan. 13, 2012 that he would return to Arkansas for his senior season in hopes of adding to the nine school records he already holds.
But this year hasn’t exactly gone as planned.
After suffering a sidelining head injury against Louisiana-Monroe, Wilson could only sit and watch as his team fell apart in the 52-0 rout by No. 1 Alabama.
The loss didn’t sit well with the accomplished quarterback. In the post-game press conference, Wilson did the only thing he could do: he called out his teammates for giving up.
“Obviously that wasn’t pretty to watch,” Wilson said. “Sucks I couldn’t be out there to do something about it. Do I feel that we, at times, gave up out there? Yeah, absolutely.
“As a leader, it sucks to see people not do their jobs and to see things go wrong. There has been a lot of things go that way.”
It’s no surprise Wilson was angry. After much success in high school and college, watching your team tumble to a 1-4 record hurts.
Wilson has had a productive season so far with 79 completions for 1,355 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 338.8 yards per game.
But five interceptions in four games isn’t exactly reassuring.
His below-par 54.5 percent pass completion is also a concern, making some question whether he made a mistake in choosing to forgo the NFL Draft to play his senior season.
There’s no doubt Wilson has the talent to pull out a decent record, but four straight losses makes for an uphill battle.
Now it’s up to the redshirt senior to get his team back on track in front of a hostile crowd in Jordan-Hare Stadium.