2015 NFL DRAFT

James Wilder Jr., RB

School: Florida State  |  Conference: ACC
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Tampa, FL
Height/Weight: 6-3 / 232 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
43330-
Player News
05/13/2014 - Bengals CFA class: James Wilder Jr., RB, Florida State 6-3, 232: Big, strong back...Not a lot of speed, but is physical and agile....Averaged 4.6 yards per carry on a little more 200 college carries before coming out as a junior... had 81 carries for 563 yards and eight touchdowns for national champs this season...Had some scrapes with the law and once pleaded no contest to a charge of resisting an officer without violence....Father James Wilder rushed for all but 51 of his 6,000 NFL yards in nine seasons with Tampa...Hometown is Tampa, Fla. - Geoff Hobson, Bengals.com

04/14/2014 - Former Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. was arrested on Sunday night in Tampa on an outstanding warrant. He was cited on March 1 for driving with a suspended license with knowledge and missed his court date. Wilder, who is the son of 10-year NFL running back James Wilder, issued the following statement on Monday: Last night in my hometown of Tampa, Florida, I was pulled over by an officer and arrested on a warrant for missing a court date for driving with a suspended license. My license had been suspended in Florida while I was training in California for the NFL Combine. Several weeks ago, when I returned home, my license was reinstated, but I did miss a mandatory court date. The police officers were all professional and I apologized to them for my actions. There is really no excuse for missing court dates.

While his 4.83 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine was alarming, four arrests over the past two seasons is an even more disappointing number. He was arrested in Feb. 2012 for resisting arrest, underage drinking in June 2012 and twice for a suspended license, the first in Jan. 2013 and then Sunday. Wilder, who has a 1-year old daughter, flashed playmaking talent in his three seasons at Florida State with 20 rushing touchdowns over his career despite only two starts as part of the Seminoles deep backfield. He looks more like an athlete than natural running back due to his height, upright running style and lean, muscular build. Wilder is a freaky athlete with excellent body control to contort his frame and elude tackles, but his inconsistent pad level and suspect run instincts limit his effectiveness at the line of scrimmage. Bottom line, Wilder has intriguing athletic talent, but not all those traits translate well to being an effective NFL back. Factor in the off-field red flags and evidence of immaturity and Wilder will be lucky to hear his name drafted at all. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

03/26/2014 - 2014 Pro Days: NFL flocks to Florida State workout...Running back James Wilder Jr. perhaps helped his cause the most with Tuesday's workout. The 6-foot-3, 232 pounder shaved more than a fifth of a second off the 4.86-second 40-yard dash he was credited with in Indianapolis, clocking in at 4.65 seconds, according to the source. Wilder, currently rated as a sixth-round prospect, said following the workout that he had been told others had him clocked in the low 4.5s. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

01/07/2014 - Son of former NFL star to enter '14 draft...Florida State running back James Wilder will forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft, a source told ESPN. Despite his limited workload, Wilder is the No. 4-rated junior running back and currently projected as a mid-round pick. Wilder, 6-feet-2, 229 pounds, had 81 carries for 563 yards and eight touchdowns this seasons as one of two primary backups to starter Devonta Freeman. He also battled a shoulder injury and a concussion, and Wilder's decision to make the jump to the NFL isn't surprising with Karlos Williams earning additional snaps as the season went on. Wilder, a native of Tampa, Fla., is the son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers star James Wilder, Sr. - The Sports Xchange

01/06/2014 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior RB James Wilder Jr. is somewhat the forgotten man on Florida State's offense this year, but he seems to be called on in huge games and could be poised for a big BCS title game. Wilder came into the season ready to be the Seminoles' feature back, but between a couple of nagging injuries and missing some time, Wilder has slipped to third in the rotation. Devonta Freeman has 943 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns, and Karlos Williams added 705 yards and 11 scores, but Wilder has a respectable 542 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. He has run strong in the biggest games, scoring twice vs. No. 7 Miami, and the 6-foot-2, 229-pound Wilder has more power than Williams or Freeman. That could be key against Auburn, which struggles against power backs, as evidence by the combined 472 yards the Tigers gave up this season to the two most powerful rushing teams they faced, LSU and Alabama. - The Sports Xchange

12/04/2013 - 2013 ALL-ACC HONORABLE MENTION (MEDIA): James Wilder, Jr., RB, Florida State (23)...Has been selected Honorable Mention All-ACC for the 2013 college football season by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA). - Florida State football

11/04/2013 - 2014 NFL Draft: Seminoles may have nation's best running backs...Freeman hasn't earned nearly as much hype as Wilder but he's emerged as Florida State's primary back, leading the team with 639 yards and eight touchdowns on the season. He carried the ball 23 times for 78 yards and caught six passes for another 98 against Miami, both season-highs. The extra focus on Freeman wasn't by chance. The only other 20-carry game of Freeman's career came two weeks ago in Florida State's big win over Clemson, in which he also scored a touchdown.

While Freeman's versatility and body type evoke memories of Ray Rice at Rutgers, Wilder Jr.'s 6-foot-1, 229-pound frame is reminiscent of former Kansas City Chief and Oakland Raider running back Harvey Williams. While possessing a lanky frame, Wilder explodes out of his cuts and runs with both power and determination. He absorbed a clean shot to his chest from Hurricanes' senior linebacker Tyrone Cornelius at the one-yard line but powered through it to give Florida State's its second score of the game. He used an effective stiff-arm, great balance to run through a tackle and all of his 6-foot-1 frame to dive for a five-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter. Freeman and Wilder Jr. were certainly impressive against the Hurricanes but considering their combined 50 games of experience, scouts knew them well. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

10/25/2013 - Third-ranked Florida State will be without running back James Wilder Jr. on Saturday against North Carolina State. Coach Jimbo Fisher said Thursday that Wilder wasn't cleared after sustaining a concussion last week. Karlos Williams will back up starter Devonta Freeman. Wilder suffered the concussion in a 51-14 win over Clemson and was considered day-to-day throughout the week. Wilder, also slowed by a shoulder injury, has run for 231 yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries for Florida State (6-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). - AP Sports

09/11/2013 - Head coach Jimbo Fisher wasn't kidding when he said the early bye week came at a good time. RB James Wilder Jr. (shoulder) and CB P.J. Williams (thigh) made it back to practice Monday, while OL Tre' Jackson (ankle injury) returned Tuesday. Wilder, the 6-2, 229-pound junior tailback, might be the most important piece missing if he can't go Saturday. When he left against Pitt in the second half -- holding his shoulder and grimacing in pain -- he was leading the Seminoles with 10 carries for 58 yards.

If Wilder can't go, Devonta Freeman, who finished right behind Wilder with nine carries for 52 yards, will carry a bigger load, or the Seminoles could turn to a duo of other untested but promising newcomers: freshman Ryan Green or junior Karlos Williams, one of the nation's top defensive recruits in 2011 who switched positions from defensive back to running back recently. - The Sports Xchange

09/02/2013 - WR Greg Dent and RB James Wilder Jr. both had offseason legal troubles. As for Wilder -- FSU's second-leading rusher last year and ACC Championship game MVP -- he was arrested in January for the third time in less than 11 months when he was nabbed for a suspended license and missing a court date. Wilder had previously been charged with assaulting a police officer, causing him to miss most of 2012's spring practices as he sorted out the legal matter. But with nearly eight months having passed since any off-the-field issues, Wilder's been a full participant this spring and summer, and Fisher told reporters he's never seen the junior in better shape. - The Sports Xchange

08/09/2013 - TOP FLORIDA STATE PROSPECTS FOR THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: 3. RB James Wilder (6-1, 226, 4.57)*...A freakish athlete and exciting ballcarrier, Wilder is an easy prospect to like with his combination of balance, power and speed. He is flexible with twitchy moves and natural bend to lower his pads to take on contact, showing tremendous body control to contort his frame and keep the play alive. Wilder runs with purpose and leg drive, rarely going down at first contact, and sees the field well to anticipate holes and hit it with forward lean, always getting positive yardage.

He has been part of a RB-by-committee his first two years in Tallahassee and will share carries with Devonta Freeman in 2013, so there are some questions if he can be a feature runner and stay durable, especially with his physical run style. He also has had three run-ins with the law during the past 15 months and needs to prove to be reliable off the field. But Wilder has all the athletic tools that will entice NFL scouts and, with a strong junior season, he might vault to the top of the RB rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft class. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

07/25/2013 - 2013 ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON TEAM (MEDIA): RB James Wilder Jr., FSU, (23), Jr. Tampa, Fla.,...Powerful sophomore tailback enjoyed a breakout season...ranked third on the team with 635 rushing yards on 110 carries (5.8 ypc)...ranked third among ACC running backs with 11 rushing touchdowns...also collected 19 receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns...earned ACC Championship Game MVP honors after rushing for 69 yards and two TD's on 10 carries in FSU's 21-15 win over Georgia Tech. Top Four in Voting By Position: Running Back: 1. Duke Johnson, UM (58)...2. James Wilder Jr., FSU (23)...3. Jerome Smith, SYR (17)...4. Devonta Freeman, FSU (8). - Florida State football

05/21/2013 - 2013 FREAKS LIST: THE 20 CRAZIEST ATHLETES IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 17. James Wilder, FSU, RB: The Noles had a few other viable candidates to make this list (LB Christian Jones and DT Timmy Jernigan) each warranted consideration, but we'll go with the 233-pound back, who measured in with 4.9 percent body fat. Wilder also runs in the 4.5s, vertical jumps over 36 inches and bench presses 405 pounds. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com

 
 
Player News
05/13/2014 - Bengals CFA class: James Wilder Jr., RB, Florida State 6-3, 232: Big, strong back...Not a lot of speed, but is physical and agile....Averaged 4.6 yards per carry on a little more 200 college carries before coming out as a junior... had 81 carries for 563 yards and eight touchdowns for national champs this season...Had some scrapes with the law and once pleaded no contest to a charge of resisting an officer without violence....Father James Wilder rushed for all but 51 of his 6,000 NFL yards in nine seasons with Tampa...Hometown is Tampa, Fla. - Geoff Hobson, Bengals.com
 

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