Record-breaking quarterback commits

Hoover quarterback John Parker Wilson capped off what has been a storybook senior season by committing to sign and play football for his favorite college team, the Alabama Crimson Tide.

"It's been a long-time decision," Wilson said at a Monday afternoon press conference. "I've been an Alabama fan all my life."

The field leader for the defending Class 6A State Champions in Alabama, Wilson is very calm under pressure, has a strong arm, and is very accurate on his passes.

He is a two-sport gem for Hoover High School, who received scholarship offers in both sports (football and baseball).

Wilson broke Brodie Croyle's single-season passing record for Alabama high schools.

With baseball complicating the process somewhat, Wilson probably took longer to decide than he would have liked. At first the Tide was reluctant to let him play baseball as well as football, which led Wilson to strongly consider other schools.

"It was between Alabama, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Clemson," Wilson revealed. "But it really came down to Ole Miss and Alabama."

According to Wilson, Tide Head Coach Mike Shula has agreed to let him play baseball, so long as football comes first.

"I will be able to play both baseball and football," Wilson said. "I'm going to come in and work hard at both sports and see what happens."

As a senior Wilson (6-1, 185, 4.50) set a new state record for passing yardage in a season with 3,821 yards. That eclipsed the old mark set by Brodie Croyle his junior year. He completed 314 of 467 passes and had 40 touchdown passes against just 10 picks. He also added five rushing touchdowns.

His career numbers show 615 completions in 978 attempts for 8,170 yards and 78 touchdowns. Wilson has a 62.8 completion percentage for his career.

On the diamond last season he was 8-1 on the mound while batting .300 with five homers. His dad, Parker Wilson, played baseball at Livingston University and in the minor leagues for the Boston Red Sox.

Bama's coaches got a chance to evaluate John Parker Wilson in camp last summer.

If Wilson puts together a stellar senior season on the diamond for Hoover, then it's possible that the Major League Baseball Draft could become a factor. "That's too far down the road," Wilson said when asked about the draft.

But Wilson does know his college plans.

"I'm going to wait to enter Alabama until the summer," he related. "Hoover is on a block system, so graduating early would be difficult. Plus, I want to play baseball this spring."

Wilson sports a 31-inch vertical jump, he benches 220 pounds and squats 350.

He carries a 3.5 GPA in the classroom and scored 24 on the ACT, so he'll qualify with no problem.

Wilson had offers from Alabama, Tennessee, Clemson, and Ole Miss to play both football and baseball. Georgia Tech recruited him for baseball only.

Wilson was genuinely torn up until last week, but an in-home visit from Shula and Tide assistant Charlie Harbison clinched his decision.

"I really like the Alabama coaching staff," Wilson said. "When Coach Shula and Coach Harbison visited last Thursday was when I made my decision. But I wanted to wait until now to announce it."

Led by Wilson's passing, Hoover High School has won two consecutive state championships.

Rated the 15th-best player in the state by Recruiting Editor Freddie Kirby, Wilson was first-team all-state quarterback this year for 6A schools. He was also voted the Back of the Year for that classification. Wilson was No. 14 on the Tuscaloosa News' Sweet 16 list.

Parker will join Hoover teammates Curtis Dawson and Jeramie Holifield at Alabama next fall. "I'm very excited about that," Wilson said. "I talked to Curtis last Friday after he announced (his commitment to Alabama), and I told him I was going to commit, too."

Quarterback John Parker Wilson is the 15th prospect to commit to Alabama as part of the 2004 recruiting class.

Other Tide commitments include

RECRUITING NOTES: Alabama is allowed to bring in 19 new scholarshipped players this fall. The Tide is expected to sign as many as 22 players in February, anticipating that several will not become qualified. It's also possible that one or more players may be asked to delay entry into The University until the following January, counting against 2005 scholarship numbers, depending on how qualifying issues play out.

Read all of the recent recruiting stories on Alabama recruits from

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