Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Alabama Football: The Legacy of John Parker Wilson

John Parker Wilson came to The University of Alabama after a very decorated career at Hoover High School.
He led the Bucs to a state title as a junior, passing for 2,800 yards and 27 TDs with just 10 interceptions.
In 2003 Wilson was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Alabama and was named to the 2003 Parade All-American team.
His career at Alabama as been one of many highs and plenty of lows.
For every great performance against Tennessee, there is a game-breaking mistake against Mississippi State and Louisiana-Monroe.
He owns the top two spots in Alabama school history for both passing yards in a season and touchdowns in a season.
But for some reason he has still not solidified himself as a top quarterback in the SEC.
He signed with the Tide in 2005 and saw action in four games, completing a pass in each appearance.
In 2006 he started all 12 games for the Tide. He threw for 200-plus yards in the first seven games, setting a school record, and finished that season with nine 200-yard games.
One of his best performances came against Arkansas, completing 80 percent of his passes for 243 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions.
He came under fire for his play in the Mississippi State game though, throwing two interceptions and no touchdowns in a loss to the Bulldogs.
In 2007 his passer rating was 114.6, completing 255 of 462 passes for 2,846 yards, 18 touchdowns (a school record), and 12 interceptions.
He played near perfect in a thrashing of archrival Tennessee, completing 32 of 46 passing attempts for 363 yards and three touchdowns.
But it was his costly turnovers in back-to-back loses against LSU and Mississippi State that most fans remember.
John Parker Wilson enters his senior season with the chance to become one of the most prolific passers in school history, but in yet another new offense he has not had the time to get comfortable as a starter.
He has been named to the 2008 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List and should leave Alabama holding records for career passing yardage (6,382) and career TD passes (41).
As it stands right now, John Parker Wilson's legacy at the University of Alabama is one of what ifs.
If he can grasp the offense, cut out the costly turnovers, and lead the Tide back to Atlanta, he will go down as one of the better quarterbacks to don the crimson and white.

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