In this installment of the Recruit Notebook, we meet a pass rushing LB who makes play after play after play: LB De’Andre Wilder.
You can never have too many guys who can get to the QB, and Miami made a move to bring in yet another such player. Miami (FL) Carol City OLB/DE De’Andre Wilder is a 6’2” 197lb edge rusher who excels at getting up the field and making plays in the backfield.
Wilder started making a name for himself as a junior for Carol City. The talented LB had 64 tackles, 14 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries in 2015 for the Chiefs, spearheading one of the toughest defenses in Florida, if not the Country.
As a senior, Wilder continued his high level play. He alternated between OLB and DE, playing each with great success.
After having flirted with the idea of committing to a school in August — with Miami being his leader over Auburn and others — Wilder decided to focus on his senior season and recruiting afterwards. The “afterwards” came on the field after Carol City’s final regular season game, when Wilder announced his commitment to Miami on November 3rd.
That November 3rd date is significant: Wilder, whose birthday is Februrary 4th, turned 19 years and 9 months old on November 4th, ending his HS eligibility. So, Wilder made his commitment on his last day as a HSFB player, transitioning to being a spectator through the duration of Carol City’s run to the 6A State Championship.
Regardless of his advanced age — Wilder turns 20 years old on Saturday — Wilder is a talented player who brings speed and athleticism to the Canes’ roster. And you can never have too much of that on any team.
On the 247sports composite, Edwards is a 3-star prospect, the #23 OLB in this class, the #45 player in the State of Florida, and the #360 player in this class overall.
Wilder committed to Miami over 27 other offers including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU, and Oregon.
Wilder as a player
The best skill Wilder has is his ability to rush the passer. HS OL were simply unable to deal with his combination of quick first step and overall speed; Wilder can be seen simply running around the tackle to get to the QB many times.
Wilder does well in run support, but his aggression and enthusiasm to get into the backfield can be used against him. Needs to get better with reading the play as opposed to just running blindly into the backfield.
Carol City’s coaching staff does very well with LBs, so Wilder has gotten great coaching at his position. He isn’t asked to do so often, but Wilder is a decent player in zone coverage or zone blitz.
Wilder can be an elite blitzer at the collegiate level. He has great timing, and his athleticism can be put to great use in this way. This might end up being the best part of his game, to be honest.
As someone who relied on pure athleticism in HS, Wilder could stand to develop his hand use both in the run game (taking on and shedding blocks) and the rush game (speed alone won’t work at the CFB level, kid).
For another look at Wilder, here’s an eval from a HS coach:
Strengths: Has the ability to play the OLB spot and give you whatever you want as far as run support; rushing the passer; underneath coverage in zone.
Weaknesses: slight frame; coverage in man; can get overwhelmed by bigger blockers
Miami is set at LB with the trio of Shaquille Quarterman, Michael Pinckney, and Zach McCloud as starters. But, Wilder brings an element of pass rushing and speed that on their level, so he could earn his way into playing time early for the Canes.
Chances for a redshirt: 0/10
Wilder is going to be 20 years and 7 months by the time the season opener comes around. At that advanced age (relative to his classification), there isn’t much time to let him sit around and wait.
That’s it for this installment of the Recruit Notebook.