NoleDigest Take: James Wilder

Florida State received their 15th verbal on Wednesday evening when five-star James Wilder committed. Wilder is FoxSports no. 1 ranked outside linebacker in the country and the Tampa Plant star chose the Noles over UF and Georgia. NoleDigest breaks down what the potential impact is for FSU.

James Wilder

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 220

High School: Tampa Plant

Position: Running Back, Linebacker

Offers: Everyone in Country

Accolades: Wilder was the driving force behind Plant's first 5A state title. Ran for 1,004 yards(7.49 per carry) and 15 TDs. Registered 136 tackles(66 solo) and 19 sacks on defense. First Team All State DL for 5A classification.

Wilder with his Plant team mates at the Nike Oregon 7on7
Scott Kennedy,

About the Player

One of the most physically imposing prospects in the last decade to come out of talent rich Florida, Wilder is incredibly productive on both sides of the ball. As a running back he possesses superior size and strength which he uses to punish defenses. His skill set seemingly fits a more traditional approach to the running game. He has shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. While he has terrific speed and athleticism for his size, he is not going to run away from players at the next level.

It is on the defensive side of the ball that many feel his ceiling resides. Wilder plays with passion and his athletic gifts are on full display as he makes plays all over the field. It is not uncommon to see Wilder chase a RB down from behind 30 yards down the field. He is physical, very physical and has shown the ability to get after the QB. He would seem to be an ideal fit at OLB. There simply are not many players who are as ready as he will be to compete from day one on campus.


While FSU closed strong on big-name targets like Jeff Luc, Lamarcus Joyner, Christian Green, and Christian Jones last year, they were all "Nole leans". Wilder was not a "lean", in fact most considered him a "UF lean" for most of the process. This is a big fish to reel in and it will be felt in Gainesville.

In hindsight Wilder seems to have been a lot less enamored with UF than many believed. There was the mysterious Spring game visit to Tallahassee, Coach Gran and Dawsey were at Wilder's Spring game, and he spent a long weekend at FSU a few weeks back. The lines of communication have been open a long time here.

Wilder is the type of big name recruit that can really impact a class in a positive manner. He is the most recognizable recruit in the state(and perhaps the country).

Wilder wants to play running back, thus he will get his first shot there and becomes the Noles third RB commitment for 2011 joining Devonta Freeman and Eric Beverly.

State Championship Highlights

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