Published April 16, 2012 - 2:59pm
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Arkansas senior quarterback Tyler Wilson has had a fantastic spring, so far. His numbers in the Hogs’ scrimmages are off the charts, and he has stated that he is way ahead of where he was at this time last year. Everything was going so smoothly … and then the hammer fell.
Arkansas’ (former) head coach Bobby Petrino crashed his motorcycle into a gigantic pile of cluster flop, and he was eventually fired with cause by UA athletic director Jeff Long. The ramifications of Petrino’s selfish and egotistical gratifications are going to sting this fine program for awhile. But thankfully, there is a true leader in the locker room for the Hogs.
This past Tuesday night, when Jeff Long met with the team to let them know his decision to fire their head coach, a number of players were understandably upset. One could even say down right angry.
After Long left for his press conference, a few of the players began grumbling, wanting to know what they were going to do now. A few mentioned possibly transferring, and more than a few got to their feet to storm out of the locker room.
It was Tyler Wilson that stepped forward, blocked the exit, and said in a captains voice, “We are not going to give up. This is our team, and we are going to move forward! We’re going to talk about this right now!” Who does that kind of stuff?! Leaders of men, that’s who!
The seniors on this team, and other key players such as Knile Davis, have taken ownership of this squad. They have made a conscious decision to not let one man’s selfishness ruin their 2012 season. Will it be easy? Of course not.
All of Razorback Nation waits to see what Long is going to do. Names have been thrown around for the head coaching vacancy. Some are legit, others are absolute pipe dreams. I encourage Hogs fans to stop dreaming of Jon Gruden and Sean Payton … not gonna happen people.
Some quality candidates I can see calling the Hogs are Art Briles, Garrick McGee, Chip Kelly, and Dana Holgorsen. Bo Pelini can relax … Hog fans didn’t want him either. Trading a coach who is an apparent sex fiend and liar, for a coach who has proven anger management issues, isn’t really ideal.
Hopefully Jeff Long will make an announcement this week about a new head coach, or if the Razorbacks will go through 2012 with an interim.
While all of this maelstrom is swirling around the team, the players have managed to stay focused, and have a great spring. Wilson completed 39 of 50 pass attempts in this past Friday nights scrimmage, for 448 yards and 3 touchdowns (after throwing 6 TD passes in the previous scrimmage).
Tyler went through eleven possessions in the 135-play scrimmage, completing 20 consecutive passes at one point. This was the last scrimmage before the annual Red-White Game this coming Saturday, April 21. In three scrimmages this spring, Wilson has completed 80 of 104 passes (77%) for 1,126 yards and 13 TD, with zero interceptions.
If Tyler can carry that over into the 2012 season, and continues to be the team leader he has shown he is, this squad will still be extremely difficult to stop in 2012…even without their former head coach.