Now that Los Angeles (Calif.) Pierce College cornerback Howard Wilder is finished his sophomore season, he's turned his focus to getting to his next stage of his career.
"Right now I'm just working out, staying in shape, getting right and eating right," said Wilder. "I'm just getting ready for the next stage of my career."
The 6-foot, 185-pound prospect helped lead the Brahmas to a 9-2 record and a double OT win in the Patriotic Bowl, finishing with 45 tackles, 1 interception, 6 pass break-ups to go with 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovered, earning first team all Pacific conference. As a freshman last season, Wilder started every game, posting 49 tackles and five passes defended.
"My best attributes are my speed, agility and how physical I am," said Wilder. "Also my football IQ, field awareness and I have a nose for the football."
Over the year Wilder got a lot of recruiting attention, claiming offers from Rutgers, Maryland, Tennessee, Kansas, Arizona State, Hawaii, New Mexico State, Houston, Pittsburgh, and South Florida, but recently narrowed his choices and started taking visits.
"I visited South Florida and that was a great," said Wilder. "I really liked the environment and how they treated me. The campus was live and they got great football facilities and they're getting a lot of new stuff too. I also really like that they play in a NFL stadium where the Buccaneers play."
Wilder also got to meet the Bulls new head coach Willie Taggart.
"I met and talked with Coach Taggart. He's a real coach and I can relate to where he's coming from," said Wilder. "He has a grand plan for USF and I can buy into what he's saying."
The LA Pierce corner sees an opportunity at USF and knows that it's all on him as to how far he can go.
"He said he likes me a lot and showed me the position I'd be in if I went there," said Wilder. "With the corners that they have there now, I control my own destiny and if I want to earn a starters position, than that's all on me."
The JUCO standout also visited Houston last weekend.
"My Houston visit was cool, I liked my visit to Tampa better, but Houston is still competing for my services though, so don't get me wrong" said Wilder, who gave his top school list. "I have a top five of USF, Houston, Maryland, Arizona State, and Rutgers, in that order."
The coveted JUCO defensive backed talked about what puts the Bulls out in front.
"They're showing me the most love, and also the position they're starting me at, and the opportunity I'd have there," said Wilder. "They also said they'd give me number six, that's the number I wear at Pierce, and also the number that their graduating senior CB wore, so that's cool. They're also on the east coast and closer to home."
While I was there I talked with a few of their DBS, corner Fidel Montgomery, the safety Jaquez Jenkins, number 3, and the quarterback number 7," said Wilder. "They all really liked it there and how close the whole team. I can tell they were being real and it seems like it was like being home."
As of right now, Wilder, who will come out this spring and have 3 years to lay 2, doesn't have any others lined up, but thinks he will after the New Year. He also said when he plans to make his college choice.
"I don't have any set up right now, but that could change once January rolls around and the dead period ends," said Wilder. "I'll probably decide on signing day in February."
Stay tuned with USFNation.com as we keep you updated on Howard Wilder and the rest of the class of 2013.
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