FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson is one of 10 finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, it was announced Wednesday.
Wilson is 135-of-208 passing for 1,779 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. He is the only player in the NCAA to throw for 500 yards in a game in 2011, a feat he accomplished with a school-record 510 passing yards in UA’s 42-38 defeat of Texas A&M on Oct. 1. He became the fifth player in SEC history, and first since 2001, to top 500 yards passing in a single game while also breaking single-game school records with 481 yards of total offense and 57 total offensive plays against the Aggies.
The junior from Greenwood, Ark., in his first season as a collegiate starter, leads the SEC and is tied for 13th in the NCAA with 1,779 passing yards, a total which already ranks 13th on Arkansas’ single-season passing yards list. His 135 completions lead the SEC and also rank 13th on UA’s single-season completions list, and his 12 touchdown passes are tied for the 12th-highest single-season output in school history. He leads the SEC and ranks second in the country with 957 passing yards and seven touchdowns against ranked opponents.
Wilson’s average of 297.5 yards of total offense per game ranks second in the SEC and 20th in the NCAA. He also stands second in the conference and 21st in the country with a passing efficiency rating of 152.90. Wilson is averaging 8.55 yards per attempt this season, which is second in the SEC and 16th in the NCAA, and 13.18 yards per completion, good for third in the SEC and 23rd in the nation.
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. Candidates are judged upon character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities and athletic accomplishments.
The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award will be presented on Friday, Dec. 9 at the Intercontinental Harbor Court, 550 Light Street in downtown Baltimore. A number of former Baltimore Colts teammates will be there, including Raymond Berry, Jimmy Orr, and Art Donovan. In addition, former Colt Joe Ehrmann, author of the best-selling book InsideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives, will deliver remarks during the award event.
Since 1998, past winners of the award include Colt McCoy (Texas, 2009), Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007), Brady Quinn (Notre Dame, 2006), Matt Leinart (USC, 2005), Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003), Carson Palmer (USC, 2002), Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997) and Rodney Peete (USC, 1988).
This week, Arkansas travels to Ole Miss in a game featured on the SEC Network. Kickoff from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss., is set for 11:21 a.m.