Former Florida State tailback James Wilder Jr. was arrested Sunday night in his hometown of Tampa on an outstanding warrant that had been issued when he was charged with driving with a suspended license.
Wilder, who ran for 579 yards and eight touchdowns in 2013, declared early for the NFL Draft and had just worked out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday. He was cited on March 1 for driving with a suspended license.
"My license had been suspended in Florida while I was training in California for the NFL Combine," Wilder said in a statement provided to FOXSportsFlorida.com on Monday afternoon. "Several weeks ago, when I returned home, my license was reinstated, but I did miss a mandatory court date. The police officers were all professional and I apologized to them for my actions. There is really no excuse for missing court dates."
In February 2012, Wilder was also charged with obstructing a law enforcement officer with violence and battery. Wilder later pleaded to a lesser charge, which included probation and serving time at a work camp. Before one day of the work camp, he blew a .01 on a breathalyzer — far below the state’s legal limit of .08 — but any trace of alcohol was considered a violation. So Wilder spent a week in the Leon County Jail.
"I’ve seen articles today about other mistakes I have made in my life, like missing court dates for traffic violations or the time I argued with a police officer over an issue my girlfriend and I were having," Wilder said. "I know there are no excuses for those things, even though for the longest time I told myself they were small things and not a big deal. But they are a big deal, because I am a better person than that."
Wilder Jr. is the son of James Wilder, who ran for 6,008 yards and 37 touchdowns for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1981-1989 before retiring after the 1990 season spent with the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions.
Wilder Jr. had visited the Bucs’ facility Friday and worked out for the team.
Bucs workout went great, feel really confident that I helped my stock today with them!!!