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    James Wilder, Jr. Q&A


    Yesterday I wrote a feature story on James Wilder, Jr. before he returns home to play against USF after starting his sophomore season with a bang.

    Here are the excellent quotes that I didn't get to use in the story from his sit-down interview with several FSU beat writers:

    On advice from his father, who played in the NFL:

    JWJ: "He knows what it takes to get to the next level because he has been there before."

    On protecting the football:

    JWJ: "I always hold the ball high and tight, wrist above the elbow. I know when we get in big piles I usually have one arm on the guy -- the first guy I get to -- to make sure he doesn't grab me. He has his hands on me but I keep his body off my body. When everybody else jumps on my back and stuff everybody thinks they are trying to tackle me but they are taught to go for the ball so I just make sure I hold it tight and once I get that first guy off me then I hold it with two hands and since everybody is trying to strip the ball and focusing on that I am focusing on trying to get out of the pile and drag the pile."

    On how much he has learned from last year:

    JWJ: "Honestly last year I used to just get the ball and just go. Just whatever hole was open, just go. But now I know the playbook and I actually know the schemes now -- I know who is blocking who. I can actually run through there full speed instead of just running like a chicken with his head cut off just trying to get to the endzone. I actually know who is blocking who, not just that [the guard] is pulling but who is he pulling to go get. It just makes it easier for me to read those blocks since I know who he is going to get.

    On having trust on offense:

    "With us playing with trust and me knowing the playbook it just makes it easier. And I can play faster too."

    On bouncing back from his off-field issues:

    JWJ: "I go out here even with the practices, I wouldn't take back one practice. I always go out there and work hard and make sure I have fun every practice because I know it felt like when I teammates were out there practicing, how bad I wanted to be out there [but] I couldn't. I know what it felt like for it to be taken away from me and I just don't want to have that feeling again. It makes you realize how much you love the sport and how much you can take advantage of every practice and every minute."

    On his motivation to play running back in college and not linebacker:

    JWJ: "With a lot of people telling me I couldn't that just made me want to do it more."

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