John Parker Wilson, a senior from Hoover, has Alabama career records in passing yards (6,911), completions (587), touchdowns (45) and attempts (1,028). He also holds the single-season record in all four of those categories.
It doesn’t hurt to be quarterback of a team that is undefeated and in the race for the national championship, either.
Moreover, he’s the quarterback at a high profile school. A man playing for the Crimson Tide is going to get more notice than one performing at a less well-known school. He's followed in the footsteps of the likes of Bart Starr, Joe Namath, Kenny Stabler, Richard Todd, Jeff Rutledge, Steadman Shealy, Jay Barker and Brodie Croyle.
Wilson joined select company when he became quarterback at Alabama. And he has to be more than just an excellent quarterback to be a finalist for the 2008 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, which he is. The Davey O'Brien Award focuses on accomplishments both on and off the field. The Selection Committee is asked to evaluate all candidates on their quarterback skills and athletic ability, academics, reputation as a team player, character, leadership and sportsmanship.
To say that Wilson has some competition is an understatement. This year’s finalists include some of the best in history. In addition to Wilson, those on the Watch List are:
Sophomore Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, junior Daryll Clark of Penn State, senior Chase Daniel of Missouri, junior Max Hall of BYU, senior Graham Harrell of Texas Tech, senior David Johnson of Tulsa, junior Colt McCoy of Texas, junior Todd Reesing of Kansas, junior Zac Robinson of Oklahoma State, junior Mark Sanchez of USC, and two fellow Southeastern Conference quarterbacks, junior Matthew Stafford of Georgia and junior Tim Tebow of Florida.
“This is a great honor, but one that I would not be receiving if it wasn’t for the play of my offensive line and really our entire team,” Wilson said. “The quarterback play across the country has been outstanding this year and I am excited to be listed among this group of quarterbacks.
“Our offensive line has provided plenty of time to throw the football and our receivers and tight ends have caught almost everything thrown their way. The running game has also been a key component that has allowed us to have a balanced offensive attack.”
Wilson has guided the Crimson Tide to an 8-0 record and number two national ranking in his senior campaign. He has completed 61.9 per cent of his passes for 1,260 yards and eight touchdowns. Wilson has thrown just three interceptions and has added two rushing touchdowns this season. He ranks fourth in the Southeastern Conference in passing efficiency with a 133.66 rating.
The O’Brien Selection Committee is comprised of journalists, broadcasters, commentators and former winners as well as fans across the country with the top three quarterbacks from the O’Brien Fan Vote being added to the list.
Fans are able to vote for semifinalist candidates once daily at www.VoteOBrien.org . The voting will continue throughout the semifinalist and finalist rounds with five percent of the final tally coming directly from the fan vote.
The finalist will be selected on November 24 and the 2008 winner will be announced during The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN December 11. The recipient will be honored February 16, 2009, at the 32nd annual O'Brien Awards Dinner at The Fort Worth Club in Fort Worth, Texas.