As former Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson nears a self-imposed August deadline regarding his NFL future, the former Greenwood standout will spend some time in July giving back.
Wilson will be joined by former Arkansas and current New Orleans Saints kicker Zach Hocker and former Oklahoma State and NFL quarterback Zac Robinson in hosting a pair of football camps in Greenwood on July 10 and at Springdale Har-ber on July 11.
“First of all, I have just always wanted to give back to my school and my community for all the support they gave me that allowed to become a Razorback and NFL player,” noted Wilson, the program’s all-time passing yardage leader with 7,765 yards and someone who holds 28 other school marks.
“I hope to give kids that kind of support that I was given, let them get some good instruction from high level athletes and try to help create that fire and inspiration that you need.”
The two camps are $125 each with the Greenwood camp running from 5-9 p.m. and the Har-Ber one going from 4-8 p.m.
They are for quarterbacks and receivers from the grades 4-12 while the kicking camp is limited to grades 7-12.
More information about the camps can be found at www.TW8camp.com.
“We will go over not only the fundamentals, but also the mental side of the game,” Wilson said. “I think that is a part of the game that really doesn’t get talked about enough.”
Wilson was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft.
He would likely have been a first-round pick in the 2012 draft had he left after leading Arkansas to an 11-2 record, but chose to return for his senior season right before head coach Bobby Petrino was dismissed for an off-the-field indiscretion.
His draft stock dropped as the John L. Smith-led Razorbacks plummeted to a 4-8 record.
“It’s hard to not think about what might have been, but who knows because the NFL is such a crap shoot,” Wilson said. “Things could have worked out differently, but then again who knows?”
Wilson spent the 2013 season with the Raiders, playing in one game against the Houston Texans while spending most of the season on the practice squad.
He was the highest-ranked player drafted in the 2013 class to not make an opening-day roster, but was signed to the practice squad the following day.
“There are so many factors that go into the NFL, which organization you get with, what is going on there at the time and there are a lot of things that are just out of your control,” Wilson said.
He spent time in the 2014 preseason with both the Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals, a team for which he played two preseason games and completed 10 of 18 passes with a touchdown.
Wilson spent a week with Chicago this spring.
“I went up there and spent about a week and then they decided to go in a different direction,” Wilson said. “Since then they have gone in about 3 of 4 different directions.”
Wilson has had contact lately with Detroit and a few other teams, but has set himself a deadline of August on whether to move on with his life.
“I don’t want to go and play in Canada or play in the Arena League because I just don’t think that is for me,” Wilson said. “So I have set a deadline of August for something to happen or I am just going to move on with my life.
“One thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that I have an accredited year because I actually played in an NFL game and spent time on the roster with the Raiders and the Titans.
“So if it doesn’t work out, I won’t look back at it with any regret.”
Wilson is excited about the direction of the Razorback under current head coach Bret Bielema.
“I know it took awhile for people to come around after the excitement of the offense we had when we had one of the schools’s best records in my junior year and Ryan (Mallett) led us to the Sugar Bowl the year before,” Wilson said.
“It was a tough couple of years after that, but Coach Bielema and his staff really have rebuilt things and are going to have great success.
“I know it took some time for people to come around to his offense, but I love the ground and pound that they have been doing.
“What people don’t realize is how much that helps the defense and keeps the other offense off the field. I love it and clearly they are going to be really good this season.”
Wilson Host Camps While Eying NFL Future
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