‘Fake James Wilder Jr.’ commits to Florida, real one coming to Georgia
Sorry, but no time for a Ten at 10 this morning. I am nursing an injured knee. I won’t go into detail other than to say guys my age probably shouldn’t jump on trampolines, despite the pleas of my 3-year-old and the other neighborhood kids. But here’s a few nuggets to feast on while I head off to see the doctor. Meanwhile, if you don’t mind, pray for “sprain” and not “tear.”
- James Wilder Jr. still has not committed to anybody. But “Fake James Wilder” has committed to Florida. That was the news that broke on Twitter last night. Around 8 p.m. Wednesday veteran recruiting reporter JC Shurburtt of the new recruiting upstart 247Sports.com tweeted, “Got an email from James Wilder saying he had committed to Florida.” To Shurburtt’s credit, he came back shortly thereafter with a cautionary tweet: “I will caution you I am trying to confirm the James Wilder email. This very well could be a hoax.” Next came this: “Reliable sources say the email is false.” So there you have it. Turns out it was a fake email address for Wilder, email@example.com, and an impostor claiming he had committed to Florida coaches yesterday. There may also have been an accompanying fake Facebook page. In any case, Wilder has yet to commit anywhere.
- I talked to the real JC Shurburtt Thursday morning to get his take on the whole deal. “It was the strangest thing,” said Shurbutt, whom I have known for a while. “Honestly, I should have known better than to send out a tweet. I’ve both under-estimated and over-estimated the power of Twitter. Two or three people re-tweeted it very quickly and all of the sudden it went viral. I should have known better, but it was funny and telling.”
- Meanwhile, the real James Wilder Jr. is due to arrive in Athens today to tour the University of Georgia. The Tampa running back — considered the top prospect in America by ESPN — has scheduled an unofficial visit with the Bulldogs and may also attend “Dawg Night” Friday night, Georgia’s annual late-summer, elite-prospect camp. At some point Wilder is also supposed to get over to Georgia Tech to meet with coaches and check out the campus. Wilder has Tech and Georgia in his final five along with Alabama, Florida and Florida State. The state schools are generally thought to be longshots for Wilder. Most believe the Gators lead for the Real Wilder as well.
- Lawyers for Tennessee freshman Da’Rick Rogers deny that the five-star wide receiver from Calhoun assaulted anyone during the July 9 bar brawl that resulted in his arrest last week. “Da’Rick adamantly denies any claims by the alleged victim that he assaulted him or any one else that evening,” read a statement released to media by Bosch law firm Wednesday. “He did not, in any way, assault anyone at anytime that evening or in the early morning. Da’Rick will address the allegations in his misdemeanor warrants at the appropriate time and looks forward to demonstrating his innocence as it relates to those charges. He has done nothing wrong and the public and media accounts about his behavior have in large part, been inaccurate.”
- Well, one person claims to have been the victim of an assault by Rogers. But he has declined to pursue charges. Wrote officer Brandon Shelly in a recently-released Knoxville police report: “Upon arrival I was able to locate the victim, Ian Cox, who had been attempting to detain the suspect, Da’Rick Rogers, for another assault that had taken place on the sidewalk. Cox stated Rogers pushed him [as he] attempted to stop Rogers from leaving. Cox had no injuries and was adamant about not prosecuting. . . . Rogers stated that he had been pepper sprayed in the bar from another altercation and could not see who was trying to ‘get him’. While trying to detain Rogers, officers briefly struggled with him but was later taken into custody without further incident.” Still no word from coach Derek Dooley on any internal discipline for Rogers. Here’s the latest update from GoVolsXtra.com, the Knoxville News-Sentinel’s website.