Of blue-chip recruits, college coaches often say, “if you can just get them on campus, anything can happen.”
Well, Georgia and Georgia Tech will have that chance with the top recruiting prospect in America, who’s coming to town this week. Running back James Wilder Jr. of Tampa is in Athens today and Friday to check out UGA and will visit Georgia Tech on Saturday, his coach at Plant High confirmed.
Wilder made the drive up to Athens with teammate Tate Rogers, a fullback, and Rogers’ mother, Plant coach Robert Weiner said. Wilder intends to attend Georgia’s annual “Dawg Night” elite prospect camp on Friday but will not necessarily participate in drills.
“Yep, James is at Georgia today and tomorrow and he’s going to Georgia Tech on Saturday,” said Weiner, who was about to board a plane with Plant’s Phillip Ely to fly to California for the Elite 11 quarterback camp. “He’s looking forward to seeing what they have to offer.”
Wilder, who has more than 80 scholarship offers, lists both Tech and UGA among his final five, which includes Florida, Florida State and Alabama.
Rumors that Wilder is heavy Florida lean have been prevalent of late. In fact, there was a hoax story that circulated Wednesday night thanks to a fake email address and Facebook page that Wilder had committed to the Gators.
Weiner said even the notion that Wilder intends to play in state isn’t accurate.
“He really doesn’t know that yet,” Weiner insisted, adding that Georgia and Tech are considered strong options for Wilder. “He wouldn’t make that long of a trip if there wasn’t a real chance. He wants to give them a good look.”
Of course, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and tight end Orson Charles, who both played at Plant, have been selling the Bulldogs hard to Wilder. Meanwhile, Wilder really likes Tech’s run-oriented offense. And, at 6-2, 220, he is a perfect fit for the B-back position at which Jonathan Dwyer thrived the last two seasons.
Wilder, the son of the former Tampa Bay Bucs of the same name, is ranked the No. 1 overall prospect in America by ESPNU and No. 3 by Rivals. He wants to play running back in college but also projects as an NFL prospect as a linebacker and defensive end.