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Plant's Wilder to announce at school

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Mon. August 16, 2010 | Eduardo A. Encina

WilderPlant five-star recruit James Wilder Jr. will announce his college decision at the school's auditorium on Wednesday at 5 p.m., Panthers coach Robert Weiner said Monday morning.

Wilder, a running back and defensive end, is the No. 3 recruit in the nation by Rivals.com and the country's top recruit by MaxPreps.

His final three schools are Florida State. Florida and Georgia, Wilder told the Times last week.

"I’ve slept on it a lot,” Wilder said last week. “Today I’ll have FSU in the lead, tomorrow I’ll have UF and in three days I’ll have Georgia. I just have to make sure I think a lot about it. I’ve still got a lot of thinking to do in the last seven days.”

All three schools are recruiting Wilder, the son of former Bucs running back James Wilder, to play running back. 

There was scuttlebutt that Wilder might make his announcement live on ESPN. Plans to do that were in the works, but Wilder would have to go to WEDU studios in Tampa, where only a handful would be able to attend. Instead, he chose to have the announcement at Plant so more people to attend.

“Everyone here’s been there for me,” Wilder said. “They’ve been there watching practices, watching games. They deserve to come and see me.”

Weiner said the announcement will be broadcast live on Bright House Sports Network, as was last week's college decisions of Plant quarterback Phillip Ely and offensive tackle Tony Posada.

-- EDUARDO A. ENCINA (eencina@sptimes.com)

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