Wilson Named Unitas Finalist
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - University of Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson has been named one of 10 finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award for the second consecutive year, it was announced Thursday.
Wilson's average of 7.46 yards of total offense per play in his career is the highest for an active SEC player and the second-highest average among active players in the NCAA. The senior from Greenwood, Ark., is the only SEC player averaging at least 300 passing yards per game in 2012 and ranks sixth in the NCAA with his average of 322.0. He ranks second in the SEC and 13th in the NCAA with an average of 320.1 yards of total offense per game.
Wilson's four 350-yard passing games this season are the most in the SEC and tied for the second-highest total in the NCAA. He is one of three players in the country, and the only one from the SEC, with three games this season of at least 350 passing yards and three passing touchdowns. His six passes of at least 60 yards and eight passes of at least 50 yards are the most in the NCAA, and his three passes of at least 70 yards are tied for the national lead. He also leads the SEC and is tied for second in the NCAA with 12 passes of at least 40 yards and tops the conference and ranks third in the country with 19 passes of at least 30 yards.
Wilson leads the SEC and ranks third in the NCAA with his average of 15.23 yards per completion this season. He also leads the SEC and ranks fourth in the NCAA with an average of 8.49 yards of total offense per play and is tied for the SEC lead and for seventh in the NCAA with 24 passes of 25 or more yards. He ranks third in the SEC and 11th in the NCAA with his average of 9.11 yards per pass attempt. His pass efficiency rating of 151.67 stands fourth in the conference and 24th in the nation.
Wilson holds 26 school records, including career completion percentage at 61.9, and is 14-6 as the Razorbacks' starting quarterback. He has accounted for the top-two single-game passing yards and total offense yards totals and produced three of the top-four single-game pass completions totals in school history. He ranks second on UA's all-time career pass completions list with 492, third in school history in career passing yards with 6,632, fourth all-time at Arkansas with 6,568 career total offense yards and is tied for fourth on the school's all-time career passing touchdowns list with 47 and career touchdown responsibility list at 51. He also stands fifth in UA history with 795 career pass attempts and ninth in all-time career total plays list at 880.
In addition to his on-field accomplishments, Wilson participated in commencement ceremonies in May and is finishing an internship this semester for his bachelor's degree in sports management. He was selected as a team captain in 2011 and 2012 and has participated in numerous community service activities.
Candidates for the Golden Arm Award must be completing their college eligibility or be a fourth-year junior on schedule to graduate with his class and are judged upon character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities and athletic accomplishments.
The 2012 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award will be presented Dec. 7 at The Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel in Baltimore, Md.
Proceeds from the Golden Arm Award help to support the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation. The Foundation provides financial assistance to underprivileged and deserving young scholar-athletes throughout Maryland and Kentucky.
The namesake of the Golden Arm Award has a storied history. Johnny Unitas was an 18-year veteran of the NFL, who played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville before joining the Baltimore Colts in 1958. His career passing figures include 2,830 pass completions for 40,239 yards, 290 touchdowns and the former NFL record of throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.
Unitas was inducted into Pro Football's Hall of Fame in 1979. Further, the Hall of Fame, in commemorations of the NFL's 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries selected Unitas as the top quarterback of all-time. In turn-of-the-century listings, he was named to Sports Illustrated list of top 10 athletes, Time Magazine's list of 10 most influential athletes, and ESPN's series on the 50 greatest athletes of the century.
To keep up with Wilson and the rest of the Arkansas football postseason awards campaign, follow @ARKTD2012 on Twitter.