Arkansas Football: What is the Impact of Tyler Wilson’s ImPACT on the Razorbacks


Sep 15, 2012; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorback quarterback Tyler Wilson (8) looks up while standing on the sidelines during the second half of a game against Alabama Crimson Tide at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Alabama defeated Arkansas 52-0. Mandatory Credit: Beth Hall-US PRESSWIRE

Fayetteville, Ark. – The honors, awards, and statistics speak for themselves. The affect of senior Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson not on the field also tells another story about the expected out comes the Razorbacks football team faces without him.

Monday Tyler Wilson addressed the media regarding his outlook for Saturday’s game against Rutgers University. Giving an honest answer to those that care instead of being used as an unnecessary decoy and misleading a loyal fan base, the preseason All-SEC quarterback said, “I’m extremely optimistic. I’ve just got to get those guys to say ‘yes.’

The “yes” Wilson is referring to needs to come from the University of Arkansas medical team that has overseen his recovery from a concussion along with the specialists from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for Sports Medicine that have been directly involved in assessing the star quarterback’s progress.

Monday Wilson took an ImPACT test while at the Pittsburgh Medical Center to evaluate the progress of his concussion, or “above the neck” injury as termed by Arkansas head coach John L. Smith.

ImPACT stands for Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing. The testing on Wilson’s cognitive and mental acuity along with his brain’s recovery to “normal” is conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for Sports Medicine specialists.

The specialists compare readings and brain activity pre-injury on each athlete then compare and contrast current tests before making a “pass” or “fail” determination of said player’s ability to return to action. Each player is made to take the 20 minute test before the season begins to establish their individual baseline.

Wilson returned to practice on Tuesday running an approximate 50 percent of the teams offensive snaps in preparation to be cleared to play by Saturday with quarterbacks Brandon Allen and Brandon Mitchell splitting the remaining snaps as a precautionary measure.

Arkansas play on the field in Wilson’s absence has been a downward spiral of historic proportions. The only good thing that could come from Wilson’s lost time on the field is the opportunity to add to his folklore among the fan base with a possible return to glory for the program before the 2012 season is complete.

With Wilson under center the Razorbacks were ranked No. 8 in the nation, easily won their first game of the season against Jacksonville State, and were up 21-7 over unranked UL-Monroe at halftime.

Since missing the second half against the Warhawks Arkansas lost 34-31 in overtime, dropped from the AP Poll, and had a historic home 52-0 home loss to No. 1 Alabama.

The loss was the first home shut-out the Razorbacks had suffered since losing to Baylor in 1966 and regarded as the worst conference loss Arkansas has agonized through since joining the SEC.

With nine games remaining on the Razorbacks schedule Wilson would have to guide the Hogs through an undefeated remainder of the season to attain a 10-win regular season. Upcoming games against 3-0 Rutgers, at 1-1 Texas A&M, at No. 7 South Carolina, at No. 23 Mississippi State, and against No. 2 LSU all now loom much larger for Arkansas even with Wilson on the field in light of the poor all-around play of the team.

Should Wilson be able to lead Arkansas back to 10-wins and recapture the fan base’s enthusiasm, even with one win coming by way of a bowl victory, Wilson’s already legendary status among Razorback Nation could easily skyrocket him to perhaps the most hallowed quarterback in school history. That is saying a lot with former signal callers beloved by fans like Billy Moore, Lamar McHan, Joe Ferguson, Quinn Grovey, Clint Stoerner, and Matt Jones.

Monday Wilson said his readings were similar to his pre-injury baseline while answering questions about his possible availability against Rutgers. The positive change in the baseline readings led him to state, “So that, for me, is very, very positive in my probability for this week.”

As scary as Wilson’s on the field injury looked, for Razorback fans life without him on the field for the remainder of the 2012 college football season is much more frightening.