Talented Tyler

Greenwood' pitcher/quarterback Tyler Wilson (6-3, 185, 4.8) has a baseball offer from Arkansas, football ones from Tulsa and Arizona and interest from a plethora of other college baseball and football programs.

The offers are starting to come fast and furious for Greenwood's Tyler Wilson now, but they would for you to if you had passed for over 4,000 yards and 50 touchdowns while leading your team to a state title and also double as one of the state's best high school pitchers.

The latest offer for Wilson (6-3, 185, 4.8) was a baseball offer from the University of Arkansas to go along with earlier football offers from Arizona and Tulsa.

"I have always dreamed of playing baseball for Arkansas so it was a great honor to get the offer," Wilson said. "..."I am extremely impressed with the Arkansas program. I mean how could you not be? The fan base up there is amazing, drawing 7,000-plus every game. That atmosphere is just awesome. I would get to play in front of my home fans and my family. It would be great. It's the things that you would love to do and dream about doing."

Wilson was 12-2 with an amazing 0.62 ERA as a junior on the mound with 134 strikeouts in just under 80 innings and five shutouts.

That is why he is also getting baseball interest from Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Clemson and LSU while those aforementioned football stats have Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Kansas State and Auburn all recruiting him for football.

He is every pleased with the football offers from Tulsa – which came first – and Arizona.

"Those are great programs as well," Wilson said. "Coach Gus Malzahn at Tulsa offered me and then just recently I got an offer from Arizona when (former Texas Tech head coach Spike) Dykes is going to be the offensive coordinator. Both of those schools throw the ball a lot and run no huddle like we do here at Greenwood so that would be a great fit for me."

Obviously Arkansas' football program – which is recruiting Wilson as well –not known as a passing school, but Wilson is intrigued by what new UA offensive coordinator and former Dallas Cowboys assistant David Lee is talking about doing.

"I was really impressed with Coach Lee and found him to be a very likeable guy," Wilson said. "To me, it wasn't like meeting a stranger. He always had a smile on his face. He is talking about bringing in a pro-style passing attack and that really has my attention. "I think that is a good thing. I know he learned some things in Dallas that are going to benefit Arkansas.

While college baseball offers are intriguing as well, it is well know that a football scholarship pays far more of the educational bills.

Football scholarships are full ones while a baseball program has to split just 11.7 among 25 to 30 players.

He could also be a choice in the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft and doesn't rule out playing just pro baseball, pro baseball and college football in the same calendar year or both sports in college.

"It's really a tough question for me to answer right now," Wilson said. "I like both football and baseball. I am not sure where all the opportunities are going to be in both sports and on what level at this point. I will just give it time and things will work themselves out."

Major league teams showing interest in Wilson – who is 1-2 this season with a loss to nationally top-ranked Owasso - include the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, the New York Mets and Minnesota Twins.

"We'll just see what the best opportunity is and me and my family will sit down and make the best decision for me by weighing everything out," Wilson said. "We'll just have to see how it goes and ride it out until then."

Wilson capped his 2006 football season by throwing for 582 yards and 6 TDs in Greenwood's 56-55 win over Pulaski Academy in the Class 5A state title game – the second straight title for the Bulldogs.

Wilson rallied his team from with two late touchdowns – including one with 12 seconds left - and then Greenwood went for two points and the win instead of playing it safe, kicking the PAT and taking its chances in overtime.

Wilson then hit Nathan Stanton with a pass just across the goal line for what proved to be the winning points.

"There was never any doubt in my mind or any of my teammates or my coaches," Wilson said. "That's how we do things. Then our defense just had to make a play – Pulaski Academy had scored in 8 seconds one time - and our defense got them down."

Wilson completed 294-of-434 passes (68) percent for 4,222 yards with the 50 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in his first season as a starter after replacing New York Mets draftee and Miami football signee Daniel Stegall.

"I felt comfortable with stepping in for him because I knew the offense, but it was some big footsteps to fill," Wilson said. "I think we all started clicking after the first few games."

Wilson, who plays first when not pitching, is working with four pitches on the mound.

"I've got a fastball – both a two-seam and a four-seam, a change up and a slider," Wilson said. "That's the four I am working with right now and I am consistently 88 to 90 (miles per hour) depending on what type of (speed) gun you use and topped out at 92 with the gun we use at the high school. "

Wilson said that participating last summer in the Area Code Games – a baseball event at Long Beach State featuring top prospects from around the country – really opened the door for him with baseball.

He has plans to do the Area Code and Perfect Game routes for baseball this summer as well as attend the Elite 11 Nike Camp in Columbia, Mo. and possibly trying to fit in some football camps such like one of the two at Arkansas.

"I don't have too many plans made yet this summer, but Coach Jones has been very cool about the baseball thing," Wilson said. "I'm lucky I can work on both sports during the summer and hopefully get better at both."





Tyler Wilson




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