Fanhouse is reporting Plant High School RB/LB James Wilder Jr. will pick Georgia, over Florida and FSU. Wilder, the son of former Bucs' running back James Wilder Jr., has scheduled a 5 p.m. newsconference Wednesday afternoon at Plant. The press conference will be seen locally in Tampa on Brighthouse Sports.
Wilder is a top-five overall recruit thanks to his two-way play. He ran for more than 1,000 yards and had 15 touchdowns in 2009. On defense he had 136 tackles and 19 sacks, as Plant won the Florida 5A championship.
Should Wilder pick Georgia, he would be the third high profile Plant player to go to the Bulldogs in recent years. QB Aaron Murray and TE Orson Charles also left South Tampa for Athens. Both, like Wilder, were heavily recruited by the Gators.
As an aside, I have to note how funny it is (in a dark way) that Plant has become a pipeline for the Georgia Bulldogs. I have already noted when Murray was being recruited how South Tampa was a Gator area. That said, pairing UGA with Plant works for me. As much as we children of Northdale, Carrollwood, New Tampa and Brandon covet South Tampa's walkable neighborhoods and stately homes, we can't stand Plant kids. They are Tom Buchanan and the rest of Hillsborough is Gatsby reaching across Kennedy Blvd. Georgia has a similar personality of living off history.
Of my hockey fights, the only player who took it personal was a Plant player who said he would run over me in his Volvo. And he was not being sarcastic. When Plant started winning state championships, conveniently during an era when school choice could expand a school's population base, the City Fathers (and Mothers) embraced the team. The rest of us hoped working-class Armwood (now in 4A), dying heavyweight Chamberlain or even Lakeland would come by and knock off the Panthers. Nope.
But in exchange, now we can look at Plant kids as the same as those red pants wearing Bulldogs, who think their two National Championships mean more than our three. The same people who started Gasparilla but complain about how the parade is out of hand, are now with the people who loved going to Jacksonville until they started getting their asses kicked. /end rant, kind of ready for football to start