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Wilson was almost a Tiger, until

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Thayer Evans

Senior College Football writer Thayer Evans previously wrote for The New York Times and Houston Chronicle, as well as contributed to The Economist, USA Today, The Washington Post and more. Follow him on Twitter.

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When Tyler Wilson committed to LSU the summer before his senior year at Greenwood (Ark.) High School, then-Tigers offensive coordinator Gary Crowton was thrilled.

Wilson called and made his pledge to Crowton after he returned home from performing well at an LSU football camp. He had decided to accept the scholarship the Tigers had offered him that spring.

“That’s great,” Wilson’s father, Don Wilson, recalls Crowton telling his son.

But LSU coach Les Miles, who had been excited about Wilson attending the Tigers camp, apparently didn’t feel the same way. The elder Wilson says the coach called his son a few hours later and told him he had to put his commitment “on hold” because LSU had also offered a scholarship to quarterback recruit E.J. Manuel.

Manuel, who ended up signing with Florida State, wasn’t supposed to make his college decision for several more weeks, but Wilson didn’t wait.

“I’ll just look elsewhere,” the elder Wilson recalls his son telling Miles. “Thank you, but no thanks.”

The elder Wilson was shocked by what his son had told Miles. After his son ended the call, he asked him if he was sure about his decision.

“Dad, if he doesn’t want me now, he won’t want me later,” the elder Wilson recalls being told by his son.

Wilson hasn’t discussed LSU’s snub publicly, but if he’s anything like his father, he still remembers it vividly.

Tagged: LSU, Arkansas, Tyler Wilson

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