College Sports | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Wilder, Jr. Moving Forward

Tallahassee, FL - When you look at James Wilder, Jr., you can tell that he's physically built. He has attributes that very few running backs possess. Fans saw what could be the future of Florida State football during this past Spring Game. But Wilder, Jr.'s future was almost fumbled away with the law.

Two months ago, he was arrested on charges of assaulting an officer. He had intervened during his girlfriend's arrest. But those two felony counts were dropped to a misdemeanor.

Now, Wilder Jr. has put that behind him.

"It was tough. It was something I had to pay for," he said. "Some miscommunication, my mistake. I was just happy to have a team meeting and have the coaches and the team accept me back on the team and just move on."

While Wilder Jr. was away from the team, the Tampa native ran stadium stairs to improve his speed and footwork.

"I've been wanting to work on my lower body to make sure I can get faster and quicker because strength-wise and size I'm pretty much there," he said. "I think I just need to get a little bit faster."

But the 6'3", 230 pound running back now has to work on gaining the trust of Head Coach Jimbo Fisher.

"I feel confident running plays and I think he feels more comfortable with me, too," Wilder, Jr. said. "Last year ,I was just scared to make a mistake because I was limited on my carries and things. But, I know coach counts on me this year, so I know I'll be getting a lot of carries like I did in the Spring Game."

With a bigger role, he has less room for error, on and off the field.


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