Jim Harris: Razorbacks QB Tyler Wilson Now Can Focus On Another Passion — Golf

by Jim Harris  on Wednesday, Apr. 25, 2012 3:00 pm  

Tyler Wilson takes on even more of a leadership role for Hogs. (Photo by Mark Wagner)

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

With the Arkansas head coaching problem solved for the 2012 season by the hiring of John L. Smith, a decision senior quarterback Tyler Wilson wholeheartedly endorsed, and with a brilliant spring performance now completed with his 467 yards passing in Saturday's spring game, Wilson can focus on another passion: golf.

Wilson deems golf his way of “healing” away from the football field. He headed to the golf course Sunday after finishing an All-American-like spring with 1,600 yards passing and no interceptions in the Hogs’ scrimmages during the 15-day practice period.

In fact, Wilson cites aspects of the golf game that help him improve as a football player. It’s the continual focus that’s required of a good golfer that Wilson wants to improve during these weeks leading up to August drills, when the Hogs reconvene and focus on a possible huge season.

“I think that golf and football, it’s so funny how they correlate because you have to focus for every shot in golf,” Wilson said. “You have to focus on every single play and if you have a little bit of lack of focus you might not be where you need to be.

“So, that’s what’s awesome, I think, is that I can play a sport I enjoy and it correlates to football as well as coming out here and continuing to work on the things I need to work on, which is footwork and the continual knowledge of the game.”

The difference between the sports, of course, is that golf requires individual focus compared to the team aspect of football. Wilson excelled in the spring, as well, in stepping up as the team leader, particularly when head coach Bobby Petrino was fired April 12. It’s Wilson who stepped up Saturday in the stead of a head coach to exhort his teammates to perform their best in front of a spring game record 45,250 fans at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

“Obviously I want to be a leader, but I also feel like I’m one of the guys, too, in their huddle,” he said. “So, it’s good to come back and feel like you’re working hard, getting better and giving guys guidance, let them know how you feel.”

Wilson, in his first season as a starter last fall, showed leadership qualities immediately along with his favorite receiver, Jarius Wright, when Arkansas was trying to find its footing the first half of the season.

Now, Wilson is without Wright, who will head to the NFL. The next favorite target, senior Cobi Hamilton, was thrown to on five of the first six passes in Saturday’s game.

Hamilton said, “Tyler is the same” as he was before Portion’s firing.

“He’s going to lead his guys to a victory," Hamilton said. "That’s why we stand behind him so much. We have so much confidence in him and like I say, he’s a great kid to have up there.”

Wilson is continually looking to improve, and believes for the Razorback offense “the sky’s the limit.”



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