5-star recruit James Wilder Jr. picks FSU over Georgia, Florida

James Wilder smiles and does the tomahawk chop after unveiling his selection of Florida State over Georgia and Florida on Wednesday. (Photo by Corey Dowlar/NoleSports.com)

James Wilder smiles and does the tomahawk chop after unveiling his selection of Florida State over Georgia and Florida on Wednesday. (Photo by Corey Dowlar/NoleSports.com)

James Wilder Jr., a five-star recruit and consensus Top 5 national prospect, picked Florida State over Georgia and Florida during a heavily-attended, regionally-televised news conference Wednesday afternoon at Plant High School in Tampa.

“The FSU coaches were the big difference for me as far as my decision,” Wilder told reporters at the news conference. “Assistant coach Eddie Gran has helped put a lot of top running backs in the [National Football] League and that was very attractive to me.”

There had been reports as late as Wednesday morning that the 6-foot-2, 220-pound athlete, who intends to play running back in college, was going to select Georgia. And, dressed in black shirt with a red vest, it looked like that might be the case.

But as it turns out Wilder had been favoring coach Jimbo Fisher’s Seminoles for a while. Late last month he blew off a scheduled trip to Gainesville for Florida’s Friday Night Lights camp in order to remain in Tallahassee on an unofficial visit at FSU.

“I made the decision three days ago,” Wilder said. “The reason I chose FSU was just being comfortable with everything in regards to FSU.”

Afterward, Wilder indicated Georgia’s Orson Charles and Aaron Murray made it tough on him.

“At 6 o’clock this morning Orson Charles was blowing me up (with texts),” Wilder told FanHouse.com. “Oh my God, [Charles and Murray] were coming at me. They were definitely telling me to go where my heart is, where I feel best. But they were definitely on me”

Wilder, who has as many 80 scholarship offers according to his coach, is an all-around athlete who could play running back, linebacker or defensive end in college. As a result, he’s all over the map in recruiting rankings. MaxPreps.com rates him the No. 1 overall recruit in America while Rivals.com ranks him No. 3 overall. Scout.com considers him the nation’s No. 1-ranked linebacker in the nation and ESPNU has him as No. 2-ranked athlete.

But Wilder, the son of the Tampa Bay Bucs’ all-time leader rusher James Wilder Sr., has made it clear he wants play running back in college. Last season, he rushed for 1,004 yards and scored 15 touchdowns as a running back while leading Plant to the Class 5A state championship. Wilder had 136 tackles and 19 sacks as a linebacker and defensive end.

Later Wednesday night Georgia lost out on another elite Florida recruit who had the Bulldogs as a finalists. Groveland, Fla.’s, Nick Waisome, rated the No. 2 cornerback in America according to ESPNU, chose the Gators over Florida and Georgia.

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559 comments Add your comment

nickz

August 18th, 2010
4:27 pm

UGA baby! 1st!

Follow your heart

August 18th, 2010
4:28 pm

He will be a dawg!!! Here we come Gators!!!!!

Terry Funk

August 18th, 2010
4:29 pm

I say he goes to Boise State and plays on the Smurf Turf!

kcgreene06

August 18th, 2010
4:32 pm

UGA UGA UGA UGA

82Dawg

August 18th, 2010
4:32 pm

My gut says we will not get him

FREEDYG

August 18th, 2010
4:33 pm

CBB1

August 18th, 2010
4:33 pm

Verbals don’t mean anything. We don’t need to get excited until he signs in February.

FREEDYG

August 18th, 2010
4:34 pm

STILL LIKE CROWELL & SWANN BETTER…..

BigTimeTECHFan

August 18th, 2010
4:34 pm

News Update:
Wilder Jr seen at LIDS store in a local Tampa mall trading in Blue & Orange, Red & Black, Burgundy & Gold hat for 1 GEORGIA TECH hat.

FREEDYG

August 18th, 2010
4:35 pm

AGREE…. CBB1… BUT I’LL STILL TAKE IT…. LOL….

Dawg Stephen

August 18th, 2010
4:35 pm

Well, hes a great player, hope he chooses the dawgs but where ever he goes, lets wish him the best, and that he chooses where he fits in and wants to be. GO DAWGS

The precedent has been set for nice posts now,but before i hit submit someone will say something stupid

Hobnailboot

August 18th, 2010
4:35 pm

Bring him on

sean

August 18th, 2010
4:35 pm

why do i feel like were not gonna get him.

FREEDYG

August 18th, 2010
4:36 pm

I JUST BOUGHT MY UGA & FALCONS CAR FLAGS 2DAY…. LET’S GO BABY…

Nerds! Nerds! Nerds!

August 18th, 2010
4:36 pm

shankit

August 18th, 2010
4:36 pm

This just in from the Tampa Tribune
Herschel Walker spotted at Plant High
School carrying Heisman Trophy.

BigTimeTECHFan

August 18th, 2010
4:39 pm

Plant QB surpised everyone and picked Bama? maybe?

LOL

August 18th, 2010
4:39 pm

he’s not coming to UGA. We all know it.

Beach Dawg

August 18th, 2010
4:39 pm

This boy has a mega ego and is dropping hints just for the attention factor — he’s not going to be a Dawg and I’m not sure i care — I want team first not me first guys!!!!

sean

August 18th, 2010
4:40 pm

ha shankit u aint serious

DawginLex

August 18th, 2010
4:40 pm

I never thought he was coming to UGA.

If he does, it will be great but a total shock.

LOL

August 18th, 2010
4:41 pm

JW has probably never even seen video of Herchel Walker. That was a long time ago people!

smyrnadog

August 18th, 2010
4:42 pm

On the ajc article/ blog this morning which was quoting the Tampa and Gainsville sources saying it was Ga- one of the responders on the blog said he talked this am to CMR who told him he’d spoken to Wilder’s parents last night and this morning, and that its going to be FSU. I noticed the AC pulled the article saying it was UGA slightl;y after that post.

LOL

August 18th, 2010
4:44 pm

my sources tell me that the blogger who said he is choosing UGA is a Gator fan and just wanted to get a laugh at UGA fans’ expense.

BigTimeTECHFan

August 18th, 2010
4:45 pm

Herchel Walker is a Tech fan, hates UGA, that why he left school early to go to USFL.

Burdell

August 18th, 2010
4:45 pm

He could always pull a Da’Trick on signing day anyway…but I would love to see the Jackets play against him every year. To be the best you have to beat the best as the old saying goes.
But I can’t see him and Lemay sharing the spotlight…

BigTimeTECHFan

August 18th, 2010
4:46 pm

LOL – That was me who said that in previous post, I was just putting out the thought.

Chuy Dawg

August 18th, 2010
4:46 pm

All blogs have Wilder going to FSU, but I say don’t count out UF yet.

LOL

August 18th, 2010
4:47 pm

my sources tell me that it was BigTimeTECHFan that said that in a previous post. The story goes, he was just putting out the thought. More to come…..

gadawgs

August 18th, 2010
4:48 pm

I don’t think it’s gonna happen. Why would he do this big announcement and tv show deal if he was going out of state. He’s going to to Tallahasee I’m afraid. Good luck to him wherever he chooses.

BigTimeTECHFan

August 18th, 2010
4:48 pm

Chip, any news on Vad Lee?

STEVE

August 18th, 2010
4:52 pm

TIME TO TAKE BACK THE SEC. DREAM TEAM ALL THE. WELCOME TO ATHENS MR.WILDER. UGA UGA UGA!!!! GO DAWGS!!!!!!

Paddy

August 18th, 2010
4:52 pm

Didn’t this kid learn anything from the LaBron James disaster on ESPN? And why has his dad not stepped in an stopped this nonsense? He was a true pro. He knows better than to let his kid get set up like this. Parents have just forgotten how to be parents!

David Pole-ax

August 18th, 2010
4:52 pm

Just In:
paul Johnson promised him he could play QB,
in that HS offense plus will play him @
Free Safety [spot duty] to keep pro options
available. Wilder loves the dual threat idea.
that scoundrel PJ is @ it again.

LOL

August 18th, 2010
4:52 pm

things are changing in real time here folks – just anounced that JW is now considering Bama and Notre Dame again. It is likely he will widen his final list to 10 schools by 5pm…..when he will begin to narrow them to a final 2 by 5:30.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

August 18th, 2010
4:53 pm

If Wilder was going to UGA he would not be holding this big production in the state of Florida. He will not pull a LeBron James. All along I said FSU and I hope I am wrong but any where but Florida will be a win for UGA.

DawginLex

August 18th, 2010
4:53 pm

LOL

He is going to Ga southern

Glory Glory

August 18th, 2010
4:54 pm

Just get it over with.

I know the Nerds are chomping at the bit to let us know that the Dawgs will never win another game if he goes anywhere else.

But reality is, the Dawgs are locked down with 2 RBs that will run a mighty fine tandem (see Nov 28, 2009) for 2 more seasons. I hope Wilder goes Dawgs, but I promise everybody that our recruiting class will not crumble without him.

1eyedJack

August 18th, 2010
4:54 pm

If he puts on the Red & Black hat I’ll be happy. If not we concentrate on Plan A, Isaiah Crowell and Plan B, Quan Bray. I’m a little troubled by his insistance on playing offense when everybody seems to think his future is on the other side of the ball.

nickz

August 18th, 2010
4:55 pm

Wilder? I hardly even know her…

LOL

August 18th, 2010
4:55 pm

sources are saying that he might wear a double-brimmed hat….one side UGA, the other UF – he is likely to delay his choice until after the cocktail party. it’s minute by minute people.

sean

August 18th, 2010
4:55 pm

where can i watch the announcment if i dont have the channel

DynamicBigBoy

August 18th, 2010
4:56 pm

SORRY BUMBLEBEES, HE NEVER EVER REALLY CONSIDERED YOU AS MUCH AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO THINK, BUT DON’T WORRY, I HAVE A GOOD SOURCE THAT TELLS ME THAT YOU WILL GET A 4 STAR RECRUIT BEFORE ALL IS SAID AND DONE.

Dan

August 18th, 2010
4:56 pm

That’s actually funny, DawginLex.

82Dawg

August 18th, 2010
4:57 pm

smyrnadog …CMR cannot comment on a specific recruit by name. Major NCAA rules no no.

LOL

August 18th, 2010
4:58 pm

Lex – thats entirely possible. where are you getting your info? Dang it I thought I had the inside scoop!

Yellow Fuzzy

August 18th, 2010
4:59 pm

I can’t remeber the last time I was this full of anticipation. It’s almost as exciting as when Mistress chokes me out.

DawginLex

August 18th, 2010
4:59 pm

Jaybo hands it off to James. It fits.

LOL

August 18th, 2010
5:00 pm

I just love living vicariously through these kids decisions! So exciting! This decision will make my year – or result in the worst single moment of my life!

Hey, BigTimeTECHFan

August 18th, 2010
5:01 pm

Why the obsession with all things UGA? You are very much like the little brother throwing temper fits in hopes of getting some attention.

As a UGA fan I hope Wilder plays between the hedges for the Dawgs. But either way I wish him well.

Ok BigTimeTECHFan you can quit holding your breath ’cause your face is turning blue.