Friday, February 17, 2012
The SEC's top 25 players: No. 17
By ESPN.com staff
For the second day in a row, a quarterback makes our countdown, and this next guy is coming off a stellar first season as a starter:
No. 17: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas, Jr.
2011 summary: Wilson led the SEC with 3,638 passing yards, the second-most passing yards in a season in school history. Ryan Mallett threw for 3,795 yards during the 2010 season. Wilson completed 63.2 percent of his passes with 24 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. He became the first Arkansas player in school history to earn first-team All-SEC honors at quarterback. He was selected first team by both the coaches and the Associated Press.
Why he's here: Arkansas' offense may be quarterback friendly in terms of putting up big numbers, but Wilson stepped right in, and the Hogs never missed a beat. He was the only player in the league to pass for more than 2,000 yards against SEC defenses and was also one of the best quarterbacks in the country when it came to taking care of the ball. His attempts-to-interceptions ratio of 1:73 was the third-highest in SEC history with a minimum of 300 attempts. He threw 184 straight passes at one point during the 2011 season without being intercepted. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Wilson was as tough as he was accurate. He absorbed several big hits throughout the season, but just kept getting back up and playing. He's also more athletic than given credit for and was praised by Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino for his ability to see the entire field and create plays. Wilson accounted for 28 touchdowns. His signature moment came in the Texas A&M game when he rallied the Hogs from an 18-point deficit at the half and passed for a school-record 510 yards in the 42-38 victory. Wilson thought about declaring early for the NFL draft, but announced on Jan. 13 that he was returning to Arkansas for his senior season.
- No. 18: Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
- No. 19: Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia
- No. 20: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
- No. 21: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
- No. 22: Rueben Randle, WR, LSU
- No. 23: Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt
- No. 24: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
- No. 25: Michael Dyer, RB, Auburn