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Plant junior running back/defensive end James Wilder Jr. has been named MVP of the U.S. Army All-American Combine, Panthers coach Robert Weiner said.
Wilder, who helped lead Plant to the Class 5A state title last month, shined at the combine, which features some of the top juniors in the nation. For many, the combine, which is similar to the NFL combine in format, its essentially a tryout for next year's U.S. Army All-American Game, but Wilder was one of 19 juniors who have already received invitations.
Wilder, the Times All-Suncoast Defensive Player of the Year this past season, impressed recruiting experts from the time he registered for the combine, being named to Rivals.com's All-Lobby team merely from an eye test. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior went on to impress at Friday's combine.
Wilder owns offers from at least 25 major Division I schools, including Miami, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, Georgia and USC, but the colleges vary on where they want him to play. Miami is a favorite because likes that they are recruiting him as a running back. Florida is recruiting him as a linebacker and Tennessee believes he can play either running back or linebacker.
"He looks like a linebacker," Rivals.com recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said on the website. "He has long arms, long build. He almost looks too tall to be a running back, but if you see him on film he can play either because he's very physical. He runs with good leverage."
For a Rivals.com interview with Wilder from the combine, click HERE.