TAMPA – Jefferson senior Ramik Wilson does a little bit of everything for the Dragons. He’s the team’s top returning linebacker, starting tight end and even Jefferson’s kickoff and punting specialist. On a Dragons team that is 5-0 and poised for a run at the Class 3A state championship, its obvious Wilson is key to Jefferson's success. He plays three spots on defense -- inside linebacker, outside linebacker and defensive end. Last year, he was the pass-happy Dragons' fourth-leading receiver. And during Monday's practice, Wilson booted a 63-yard punt that had coach Mike Fenton saying, 'Did you see that?'
But it’s his promise at linebacker that make the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder one of the bay area’s top defensive recruits. Wilson owns nearly 30 Division I-A scholarship offers from all parts of the country. This season, he’s averaging 7.6 tackles and has three forced fumbles. Before a recent practice, Wilson took time out to talk with Times staff writer Eduardo A. Encina about his upcoming official visits, the chip on his shoulder (That’s to you, state schools) and who to keep an eye on next year. Wilson and the Dragons host Lakewood in a key Class 3A-10 district game Friday at 7:30 p.m.
How is your recruiting going?
I know four schools I’m taking official visits to. I’m going Purdue, Texas Tech, Georgia and Arkansas (Wilson owns offers from all four). I’m taking a fifth, but I don’t know where I’m going to take it.
What has stood out the most so far in terms of recruiting?
I didn't expect any of this. Coach Fenton already told me I would get a lot of offers. I didn’t believe it at first, but once they started coming one by one, I was like, ‘All right.’
You’re looking at some schools that are pretty far away from home. You’re okay with going far out?
Yeah, I don’t want to stay in Florida. Florida, Miami and Florida State, they’re all (close) but I’ve never gotten one letter from them or anything. I never heard from them. I’ve got like 25 offers from other schools, so I don’t know what’s wrong with them. I’m fine with the schools I’ve got now.
What’s going to be most important for you when you make your decision?
It has to be the right opportunity. I want to play early. I want to have the opportunity to play well. I want to have a good relationship with the coach. That would be a good school for me.
Jefferson has received a lot of attention recruiting-wise. You have a lot of Division I prospects this year, probably about a dozen. Who is the one guy who you don’t hear that much about who is going to be a big-time prospect?
That’s got to be (junior defensive end) Tyriq McCord. He’s a beast. He’s leading the team in sacks right now. He’s got some offers. He’s got South Carolina and Rutgers. After this season, he’s probably going to have more than me, maybe 30-35 at least. He’s getting mail from Alabama, LSU. He’s getting it from every big school I never got, so I’m like, ‘What is going on?’ Georgia Tech, schools that I’ve never even talked to. But I’m happy for him.
On the field, you guys haven’t been tested too much so far this season. How has that been for you?
Our team is just amazing. Everyone is a D-I prospect. We just don’t have two or three players. Our whole team is amazing. You look at the O-line, D-line, cornerbacks. Everybody, we’re all special. You look at us by position, we’ve got size, speed. I don’t think there’s anyone who can stop us.
-- EDUARDO A. ENCINA (firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @EddieHometeam)