John Parker Wilson changing his legacy

Alabama-Tulane photograph by D. Brown/Southern Sports Media

2008 may change how fans view Wilson’s Tide career
By Michael Hicks

John Parker Wilson came to The University of Alabama after a much 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.

As a freshman in 2005 he saw action in five games, completing seven of 11 for 98 yards. In 2006 he started all 13 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.

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In 2007 his QB 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.

He entered his senior season on the verge of holding all the major quarterback records, career passing yardage (6,382) and career TD passes (41).

Many fans still did not believe he could lead this team to Atlanta and the SEC championship game. Going on his third offensive coordinator in as many years fans thought he would not be able to live up to his hype.

In the opening game against Clemson Alabama had a coming out party in a 34-10 rout of the then number 9 ranked Tigers. Wilson was 22-of-30 for 180 and two touchdowns.

This may not be his best season stat wise but so far this season he has led the Tide to a perfect record and thrown for 1,627 yards and eight touchdowns.

He has found a great target in freshman receiver Julio Jones and has not been asked to carry the load all by himself.

With two games left in the regular season Wilson is on the verge of completing the first perfect season since Jay Barker was the quarterback at the Capstone.

Wilson was named as one of five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which goes to the top senior quarterback in the country.

With a perfect season in sight and returning the Crimson Tide to the top of the SEC John Parker Wilson will go down as one of the better quarterbacks to don the crimson and white.