As a member of one of the top 20 teams in the country as ranked by USA Today, Vernon Wilder is used to not having to do it all on his own.
Point of fact, players with his ability and athleticism would probably have stats gaudy to the point of insanity were he at some smaller school with less talent across the board than you are likely to see at one of the nation's premier football teams down in Miami, Florida.
That hasn't stopped Wilder from averaging close to 10 tackles a game thru Carol City's first four games, helping his team to an undefeated mark of 4-0. Wilder has also added apprx. 5 tackles for loss and forced 3 fumbles in the process.
His own individual consummations remain in the back of his mind though, a team like this succeeding on one solitary philosophy. "We're doing it as a team." Wilder stated. "We are winning games and doing good, but we are doing it together and not getting ahead of ourselves. Whoever our next opponent is, that's the only team we're worried about."
Cliche' in your world and mine, reality in his as an opponent even somewhat marginal is the best opponent you are going to face this up-coming weekend, so Vernon's maturity seems to speak for itself.
Believe it or not though, there is a downside in playing for a perennial powerhouse in the biggest classification of high school competition in Florida. It's not like people won't notice you, but even amongst your own teammates, there is a furious competition going on.
They aren't each vying for spotlights, but let's face it. You don't get to be the kind of juggernaut this school is without having more than a few solid players on both sides of the ball. Not the least of which is a LB on the team, Willie Williams, who is ranked by The Insiders as the 2nd best LB in all of the United States.
All that makes the climb for attention, mostly up-hill, but it's something Vernon has managed to do with some success thus far.
Enough to already have a written offer from Rutgers, but Vernon stated that Colorado State said an offer is on the way and Michigan State verbally offered him a ship to play there. Added to that, Wilder stated that Kansas State is pursuing him with great fervor and in turn, he's looking back that way as well. "I like Kansas State and their linebacker coach." Vernon said. "I like the way they play defense."
The early affections have not however dimmed the chances of any other team pursuing him as he stated that he tried to contact Nebraska, because of the interest they have shown recently and is as you would guess very interested in the University of Miami as well.
The visit Vernon is trying to schedule now is Kansas State. After that..........."I'm concentrating on the season and any visits will be after the season more than likely." Wilder stated. "We've got bigger goals on the horizon for the team and the team doesn't revolve around recruiting."
Wilder reported that he is fully qualified.
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619