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August 18, 2010

Five-star athlete picks Seminoles

Jimbo Fisher put a huge feather in his cap today.

Florida State's new head football coach has been responsible for several blue chip recruits pledging to the Seminoles over the past few years but none may be more significant than James Wilder Jr.

In front of dozens of media outlets, including ESPN, the five-star athlete from Tampa Plant High School announced his intentions of playing for the Seminoles in 2011.

In the end, the nation's No. 1 ranked athlete selected FSU over Florida and Georgia, but had several other major offers including Alabama, Miami, Auburn, USC and Tennessee.

Growing up a Gator fan, many believed that the Tampa native would eventually pledge his services to Urban Meyer. However, after building a strong relationship with assistant coaches Lawrence Dawsey and Eddie Gran, as well as head coach Jimbo Fisher, Florida State became a major player in the Wilder sweepstakes. The tide officially turned to the Seminoles following a three-day Tallahassee visit in late July during which he skipped Florida's premier football camp - Friday Night Lights.

Georgia was also a major contender largely due to the Dawgs' tradition of producing elite running backs and his friendship with former Plant teammates Orson Charles and Aaron Murray, who both play for UGA.

Even though many project that the 6-foot-2, 220-pound athlete will play linebacker in college, Wilder insists he will line up at running back at Florida State.

As a junior, Wilder racked up nearly 1000 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns. On defense, he accumulated over 100 tackles and had 17 sacks.

Rivals.com ranks Wilder as the No. 3 overall player in the country and No. 2 in the state of Florida. FlaVarsity.com ranks Wilder as the No. 1 overall player in Florida.

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