Wilder Strong on Both Sides of the Ball

The top athlete in the state of Florida for the class of 2011 is without question James Wilder. From Tampa (FL) Plant, Wilder checks in at 6-1.5 and 216-pounds. He is currently the nation's No. 2 ranked defensive end and is a five-star player.

Many analysts have James Wilder slotted at defensive end or linebacker, but not many people project him on the offensive side of the ball. It might be time to revisit those projections as it now appears that Wilder wants to follow in his father's footsteps with the ball in his hands versus chasing it down; 19 sacks on defense versus more than 1,000 yards rushing with 15 touchdowns last season, and it's take your pick. He had 281 tackles the last two seasons versus 7.5 yards per carry and you get the point.

James Wilder has exceptional ability on both sides of the ball and is one of the premier high school football players in the country. As far as what side of the ball he ends up on will depend on him.

"I don't think they run the ball with big backs but I think I am going to play running back but not sure though."

Scout.com Take:

Wilder is an athlete that could end up at defensive end, linebacker, or even running back in the right system. He is best on the defensive side of the ball because he gets after the quarterback. He is explosive off the ball, he is very strong, and he is an aggressive player. He is a little stiff and he needs to work on disengaging a little quicker, but he will be a dangerous stand up backer or defensive end on the next level. - Chad Simmons

Scout.com Biography:

SOPHOMORE: Wilder registered 145 total tackles with 62 solo and 15 sacks and was selected All-Hillsborough County First Team and FSWA Second Team 5A All-State LB, All Sun coast Second Team.

JUNIOR: 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. Father played in the NFL as running back for the Tampa Bay Bucs.

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