James Wilder Jr.

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James Wilder Jr.
refer to caption
Wilder Jr. before a Toronto Argonauts game in 2018.
No. 32 – Toronto Argonauts
Position: Running back
Personal information
Born: (1992-04-14) April 14, 1992 (age 26)
Tampa, Florida
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 232 lb (105 kg)
Career information
High school: Henry B. Plant (Tampa, Florida)
College: Florida State
Undrafted: 2014
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status: Active
CFL status: International
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com
Career CFL statistics
Attempts: 122
Rushing yards: 872
Receptions: 51
Receiving yards: 533
Touchdowns: 5
Player stats at CFL.ca

James Curtis Wilder Jr. (born April 14, 1992) is a professional Canadian football running back for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played college football at Florida State, where he was part of the team that won the 2014 BCS Championship Game. He has also been a member of the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills.

High school career[edit]

He attended Henry B. Plant High School in Tampa, Florida. Wilder was considered the No. 1 athlete recruit in the nation in his class by Rivals.com.

In 2009, Wilder ran for 1,004 yards and 15 touchdowns, while registering 136 tackles (66 solo) and 19 quarterback sacks on defense. He was named the High School Junior of the Year by Rivals.com, as well as 2009 USA Today All-American. Wilder was selected to play in the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.[1]

College career[edit]

Wilder attended Florida State University from 2011 to 2013. He selected Florida State over the University of Florida and the University of Georgia.[2] In 2012, Wilder had a breakout season, running for 635 rushing yards (5.8 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns. Wilder won Offensive MVP for the 2012 ACC Championship Game. In 2013, Wilder averaged 7 yards per carry. Wilder was named All-ACC Honorable Mention.[3]

Wilder rushed for 1,363 yards with 20 rushing touchdowns during his career at Florida State University. He entered the 2014 NFL Draft after his junior season.[4]

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 3 in
(1.91 m)
232 lb
(105 kg)
4.65 s 1.68 s 2.68 s 4.24 s 6.92 s 35 in
(0.89 m)
10 ft 1 in
(3.07 m)
18 reps
All values from NFL Combine, 40-yard dash from Pro Day[5]
Wilder with the Buffalo Bills in 2016.

Cincinnati Bengals[edit]

On May 12, 2014, Wilder was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals. On August 30, 2014, he was waived by the Bengals. He was signed to the Bengals' practice squad after clearing waivers. On January 14, 2015, Wilder signed a reserve/future contract with the Bengals. On September 5, 2015, he was waived by the Bengals.[6] On the following day, he was signed to the Bengals' practice squad.[7]

Buffalo Bills[edit]

On January 20, 2016, Wilder signed a reserve/future contract with the Buffalo Bills.[8] On September 2, 2016, he was waived/injured by the Bills.[9] He was then placed on injured reserve. He was released by the Bills on September 27, 2016.

Toronto Argonauts[edit]

Wilder signed with the Toronto Argonauts on March 14, 2017, reuniting head coach Marc Trestman with the family, as Trestman was a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant coach when Wilder's father was a running back on the team.[10] Following an injury to starting running back Brandon Whittaker, Wilder made his first professional start on July 24, 2017 against the Ottawa Redblacks.[11] Wilder took over the starting running back role in September, earning consecutive player of week honors in weeks 13 and 14, gaining 257 and 218 yards from scrimmage in each game respectfully.[12] He amassed 872 yards and 5 touchdowns on 122 carries, as well as 467 yards on 51 catches, and was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Rookie on November 23, 2017. While largely contained in both playoff games the Argonauts played in, Wilder rushed for a touchdown in the final game of the year, helping Toronto secure a Grey Cup championship.

In late January 2018 Wilder announced that he was planning to sit out of the Argos' 2018 season in the hopes of pursuing a return to the NFL in 2019.[13] Wilder noted that his current contract of $56,000 (around US$45,000) in 2018, combined with the risk of career ending injury, does not give his family comfort about the future were he to play in 2018.[14] The Argonauts issued a statement in response to Wilder's comments, stating their expectations of him to fulfill his contractual agreement with the organization. Failure to report to the team in due course will likely result in him being placed on the team's suspended list for his decision as per his contractual commitments with the organization.[15] By February 27, 2018 the Argos had reportedly offered Wilder a contract extension which would make him one of the highest paid running backs in the league.[16] On March 3, 2018 the Argos and Wilder agreed to a two-year contract extension, keeping him in Toronto through the 2019 season.[17] The deal is reportedly worth $100,000 per year, with no signing bonus.[18] Wilder played in the first 13 games of the season for the Argos, before suffering a leg injury in Week 16.[19]


His father James Wilder was an NFL running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[20] In January, 2014, James Wilder launched his clothing line, I Am Wilder Apparel.[21]


  1. ^ "2011 U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour". Rivals.com.
  2. ^ Encina, Eduardo A. (November 12, 2010). "Plant's Wilder still firm in FSU pledge, promises more commitments for Noles". St. Petersburg Times.
  3. ^ "James Wilder Jr. Bio". Archived from the original on 2014-04-04.
  4. ^ 2014 NFL Draft: Florida State RB James Wilder Jr. entering draft
  5. ^ http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=119347&draftyear=2014&genpos=RB
  6. ^ Harvey, Coley (September 5, 2015). "Cincinnati Bengals cut 21 players, put Vontaze Burfict on PUP". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  7. ^ Hobson, Geoff (September 6, 2015). "Bengals stay pat, but get their practice squad". Bengals.com. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  8. ^ Brown, Chris (January 20, 2016). "RB James Wilder Jr. signed by the Bills". BuffaloBills.com. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  9. ^ Brown, Chris. "Vets Felton and Lawson headline Bills cut to 53". BuffaloBills.com.
  10. ^ "SIGNING: ARGOS ADD BROOKS, JACOBS AND WILDER JR". argonauts.ca. March 14, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  11. ^ RALPH, DAN (2017-07-23). "Rookie running back James Wilder Jr. to start for Argos versus Redblacks". Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  12. ^ "Argos' James Wilder Jr. named top performer for a second straight week after another huge game". The Toronto Star. 2017-09-26. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2017-09-27.
  13. ^ "Report: Argos' Wilder says he won't play next season - Article - TSN". TSN. 2018-01-24. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  14. ^ "Argos RB James Wilder Jr. issues statement, says he won't play in 2018 - 3DownNation". 3DownNation. 2018-01-24. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  15. ^ "Argos issue statement in response to Wilder announcement - CFL.ca". CFL.ca. 2018-01-25. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  16. ^ "Argos offer Wilder a contract extension - Article - TSN". TSN. 2018-02-27. Retrieved 2018-02-28.
  17. ^ "Argonauts officially sign star RB Wilder Jr. to extension - Article - TSN". TSN. 2018-03-03. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  18. ^ "What the Argos are offering James Wilder Jr. - 3DownNation". 3DownNation. 2018-03-01. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  19. ^ "Argos' Wilder (leg) listed as week-to-week - TSN.ca". TSN. 2018-10-02. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  20. ^ Johnston, Joey (October 2, 2009). "Versatile Wilder getting first taste of Plant-Armwood". The Tampa Tribune. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013.
  21. ^ "I Am Wilder Apparel,".

External links[edit]