James Wilder Jr., one of the top two or three recruits in the country is announcing his college choice today at a ceremony that will begin shortly after 5pm at Plant High School in Tampa. His finalists include Florida State, Florida, and Georgia.
Wilder has strong connections to each school. He has the best relationship with FSU's coaching staff (particularly Lawrence Dawsey and Eddie Gran). He has been to Gainesville more times than he can count. And his high school has sent two superstar recruits to Georgia in as many years. Wilder also has reservations about each school. FSU is not in the SEC. UF runs a spread offense and wilder is set on playing running back and not linebacker. Georgia is far from Tampa. A report came out last night claiming that he had already selected Georgia. As of early this morning, our recruiting guys are not buying it.
Take this announcement as "this school is in the driver’s seat for my signature" and not "this is who I will be playing for in the fall, 100%". We’ve gone over the million outside factors pulling at JWJ and it’s been well-stated that he goes back and forth with things. We’ll find out tomorrow who is in great shape to get him but don’t be surprised if things change, maybe multiple times.
JWJ is a good kid with a good family and amazing talent and could do wonders at FSU. I just don’t want to see FSU fans unfairly vilify him if things change with his recruitment. Try to keep a level head and realize these are teenagers.
The TN prediction is an announcement for Florida State. Our recruiting writers are split on whether that potential verbal commitment would stick come February. Wilder is not an early-enrollee, so can bet that whoever he announces for tomorrow is going to have to fight incredibly hard to keep him- he’s going to take final records and stats into account in December/January. Florida State isn't likely to have a season like the other two finalists are projected to have, due to schedule and being in rebuilding mode.
Here's the scouting report from the recruiting board:
Wilder is one of the, if not the, most known about prospect in the country for this cycle. One of the 3 best players in the state, and potentially the best. Also, his size and frame are the prototype D1 football player. As a RB he is still able to use the elite level athleticism. He runs north to south and finds his cut very quickly., he has good hips. With very good competition he is able to run over, drag, and run by many defenders at the high school level. His power is unquestioned, however he isn’t particularly shifty, and isn't asked to show the type of vision that he is probably capable of (shows at second and third levels). Runs behind his pads well, and could be a huge advantage in blocking. Wilder is the type of player that around which a college builds its offense. With that said, he's an even better prospect at linebacker. But he wants to play RB and running back is what FSU is recruiting him as. Son of former NFL player James Wilder. Film. | Film 2 | Film 3 (sophomore highlights) | Film 4 | Film 5 | Film 6
What are your thoughts? Will Wilder select the 'Noles?