Former Plant star James Wilder Jr. returns to his alma mater as a coach

Former Plant standout James Wilder Jr., who led the program to a state title and a runnerup finish, has returned to its alma mater as the run game coordinator and running backs coach. 

As a junior in 2009, Wilder Jr. had his best season with the Panthers, rushing for more than 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns and recorded 136 tackles and 19 sacks. He was named the high school junior of the year by Rivals and was a USA Today All-American. 

Those accolades helped Wilder Jr. become the nation’s top recruit in the Class of 2011 according to Rivals. He signed with FSU as a running back, gaining 1,363 yards and scoring 20 touchdowns in his college career.

He went on to play with the Cincinnati Bengals (2014-15), Buffalo Bills (2016) and with the Toronto Argonauts (2017-19) in the Canadian Football League. He retired this offseason due to the uncertainty of the upcoming season.