Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy, Biletnikoff Award and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt was awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2000 and 2015.
UA’s Wilson OK following accident
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson practiced Tuesday after being involved in a two-vehicle accident earlier in the day and is expected to be ready to start against Kentucky on Saturday night.
“He looked good,” offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said. “He’ll probably be a little bit sore tomorrow, but he threw the ball good. He had a good practice. He looked fine.”
Petrino said he missed a call from Wilson, then learned about the accident from trainer Matt Summers and talked to Wilson on the phone.
“You don’t want to answer your phone this year,” Petrino said. “Your phone rings, you just want to run from it.”
According to information provided by the Arkansas State Police, Wilson was driving a 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser northbound on Interstate 540 near Fayetteville when he had to break sharply for other traffic stopping in front of him and was hit from behind by a 2006 Chevrolet Express van driven by Dustin Whitmill and licensed to Spectrum Paint Company.
Wilson’s sport utility vehicle was sent into the median and struck the divider cables before coming to a stop. No injuries were reported, and no charges were filed.
Petrino said it was a “huge” relief knowing no one was injured in the accident.
“First of all, you’re just thankful that they’re OK as a person and they’re healthy and everything is f ine,” Petrino said. “Secondly, then you’re thankful that [Wilson is] OK as a player and will be able to practice and be able to play.”
Wilson spoke with members of the media Monday and wasn’t made available after Tuesday’s practice, but he talked with teammates about the accident.
“He said something about a semi pumped the breaks on him a little early and it just kind of got out of control,” center Travis Swanson said. “Thank God he wasn’t hurt.”
Tight end Austin Tate said Wilson looked like his usual self during practice.
“Nothing bothered him,” Tate said. “I feel like we’re kind of bred to take on adversity, and he had a little bit of adversity today in his own personal life and he went out there and overcame it and led practice and did a great job.”
Tate said he didn’t learn about the accident until he already had seen Wilson in the locker room before practice.
“It’s just a relief when you hear that everybody’s OK, no matter what happens,” Tate said.
Petrino said Wilson wasn’t limited in any way during practice.
“It was a typical Tuesday,” Petrino said. “He took every rep he normally would on a Tuesday.”
Sports, Pages 26 on 10/10/2012