J.P. Wilson, bad quarterback?

It has become cool to ridicule the former Hoover Buc QB. Callers on talk radio and some commentators have said Wilson isn’t a good quarterback or is just average, and doesn’t have the skills of other prominent SEC signal callers.

But what do the numbers say?

As a sophomore, Wilson was 216-of-379 for 2,707 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. During his first season as Alabama’s starting quarterback, he set school records for passing yards, pass attempts, touchdown passes and pass completions.

Compare those numbers to other SEC quarterbacks first seasons.

Eric Ainge’s first season in 2004 saw the QB play in 9 games throwing for 1,452 yards, and he was 109-of-198 for 17 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.

Florida’s national championship quarterback Chris Leak’s first season was 2003. In his first season he was 190-of-320 for 2,435 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

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Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel’s first year in 1993 saw the Florida standout throw for 2,230 years on 159-of-273 passes with 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

And just for reference, Steve Spurrier’s senior season at Florida saw the legend throw for 2,012 yards on 179-of-291 with 16 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.

Throwing out Peyton Manning’s first season, let’s use his second season (1995) as a starting point (since his second season saw him unquestionably leading the team.) He threw for 2,954 yards on 244-of-380 passes for 22 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. FYI, Manning’s freshman season in 1994 saw the future Hall of Fame QB throw for 1,141 yards on 89-of-144 passes with 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.

For some reason it has become hip to bash the Hoover quarterback; however, with a pathetic offensive line and a lackluster rushing attack, J.P. Wilson put together a strong rookie season. His numbers aren’t spectacular, but for a quarterback putting making his first start, his numbers were impressive.


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