John Parker Wilson never has strayed far from Alabama football. The former Alabama quarterback has remained close to the program while living in Birmingham after his NFL career ended. Now he’ll be back at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturdays this fall.
The Birmingham native was named as the new color analyst for Alabama’s radio broadcasts in late July. He’ll join veteran play-by-play voice Eli Gold.
“Beyond excited about it,” Wilson said last week. “Huge honor to be able to it, to join a legend like Eli, to be able to be a part of this team again. But it’s also a huge responsibility. The guys are going back to training camp right now and I’m going to do the same getting ready for the season.”
Wilson was in attendance at practice when Alabama opened fall camp on Friday.
Wilson was the incumbent starter at quarterback when Nick Saban arrived in 2007. He started three seasons in Tuscaloosa and finished his career first in program history in completions, passing touchdowns and passing yards, though all three records were surpassed by AJ McCarron. He spent 2010-12 with the Atlanta Falcons, then signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012 and spent the 2013 preseason with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I grew up, my dad and brother and I, we’d watch football games with Eli and Kenny (Stabler) turned up (on the radio),” Wilson said. “So, growing up listening to them, it’s pretty cool now to be able to a part of that role and be part of Coach Saban and this program once again.”
The past few years have kept Wilson close to the program in other ways. He did some analysis in the media in recent years. Wilson even chipped in as a practice player for Alabama during the 2016 season.
“To grow up in this state, to be from Birmingham, to play here, to live here and now to get a chance to continue to do that, it’s pretty cool,” Wilson said. “And I just hope that I can fill the shoes that have been there before me.”