I finally ran down Tampa-Plant coach Robert Weiner to verify what I’d been hearing all afternoon on Monday. That is that mega-prospect James Wilder Jr. plans to make public his college football decision on August 18.
The exact time and place has not been determined, according to Weiner. However there are reports that the announcement will be at 5 p.m. at a Tampa TV station and will be broadcast live on one of the ESPN networks. Again, Weiner couldn’t confirm that. He stated via text message, “will solidify tomorrow (Tuesday) with a press release.”
Coincidentally — or not — highly-touted four-star cornerback prospect Nick Waisome of Groveland, Fla., is also supposed to make his announcement on the 18th. In fact, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting that Waisome and Wilder are going to make their announcements together.
“Something like that,” Waisome told the Sentinel Monday. “I just know it’s the 18th in Tampa and that’s all.”
That, of course, has led to rampant speculation that those two are going to end up at the same school. Everybody in Florida is assuming that the duo will end up with the Florida Gators or Florida State, and that’s probably a pretty good assumption. But as was pointed out by the Sentinel, Waisome and Wilder both also have Georgia among their finalists. Alabama has been on both players’ list as well. So it would be foolish to rule out altogether any of those.
Wilder (6-2, 220) is one of the most highly-recruited prospects in the country this year with more than 60 scholarship offers. The two-way star — whose father by the same name was an NFL star — was all-state as a linebacker and defensive end as a junior at Plant last season but intends to play running back in college.
Wilder visited UGA July 15-17 and was supposed to take a tour of Georgia Tech on July 17 but ended up not making it. The latest list of finalists provided by Wilder was Florida, FSU, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU and Miami, according to TBO.com, the Tampa Tribune’s website.
Wilder’s announcement will come one week after two of his teammates. QB Phillip Ely and OT Tony Posada will make their decisions known this Wednesday in Tampa.
So where do you think Wilder will end up? How about Waisome? Dogs or Jackets have a realistic shot?