by Jason Butt
April 14, 02014
Former Florida State running back and NFL prospect James Wilder Jr. released a statement following his traffic related arrest on Sunday.
Wilder had a warrant for his arrest after missing a court date for driving with a suspended license. Wilder apologized for what transpired on Sunday.
"Last night in my hometown of Tampa, Florida, I was pulled over by an officer and arrested on a warrant for missing a court date for driving with a suspended license. My license had been suspended in Florida while I was training in California for the NFL Combine. 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.
"I have good people in my life who always tell me to watch what I do because I am in the public eye, and because kids look up to me. I really do want to be the kind of person who makes people proud. I am not proud of myself when I make mistakes like this.
"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. 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.
"Today I am celebrating my birthday with family and friends. I’m another year older, and another year wiser. I also know there are lots of people waiting for me to prove that.
"I am thankful for all that God has blessed me with in my life."
Wilder was cited for driving with a suspended license on March 1, which was apparently never taken care of. The Tampa Bay Times reported he's been cited for three previous violations of the same nature.
Wilder was a high-profile running back recruit out of Plant High School in Florida before playing college football at Florida State. The son of former Buccaneers running back James Wilder, his career at Florida State never took off as expected.
His best season with the Seminoles, when he ran for 640 yards and 11 touchdowns. He shared time with Devonta Freeman this past season.
Wilder is expected to be a mid-to-late round pick.
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