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Player: Jeremi Wilkes
Position: Free Safety
Hometown: Tampa, FL
High School: Tampa Catholic High School
2010 Stats: Jeremi recorded 19 total tackles (15 solo, 4 assisted), and one interception.
2011 Projections: Jeremi played very well at corner last season, and with the graduation of both of our starters, Mike Holmes and Da'Mon Merkerson, one would think that he would've been up for one of the newly opened starting spots. However, the staff moved him to free safety in the spring, a move that was questioned by many because of how locked in returning starter Phillip Thomas is at that position. Because Jeremi already knows corner fairly well, my guess is that Shafer and co are trying to build depth within the secondary by having them learn multiple positions. We'll see how this works out for everyone...
Although it doesn't sound like Phil is going to lose too much time with his broken jaw, Wilkes may see time in the starting lineup this year if he doesn't recover. If that's not the case, I expect he will see the field in various situations, whether it is at safety or corner.
How'd He Get Here?: Wilkes was quite the get for Doug Marrone and company. While his size may have been a red flag for some programs, that didn't prevent Florida State, Iowa, Louisville, or Rutgers from offering. Wilkes chose SU right before he was scheduled to go visit Rutgers. Good on you, Jeremi, good on you.
What'd Scout/Rivals Say?: Scout was all like "meh" and gave Jeremi the 2* treatment, while Rivals was a bit more impressed, awarding him 3*.
"At safety, you kind of have to have a different mentality, because you’re going to be in the piles more. You’re going to have a lot more contact," he said. "I’m that type of player too. I like contact."
"I don’t mind being out on the island, and I don’t mind being in the box. I’ll go in the pile if I need to," he said.
Links of Wonder: Corner? Safety? It's all cool with Jeremi Wilkes.
What Does Doug Marrone Think?:
"He’s a good football player, he really is...He’s very structured, and disciplined."
What Does Scott Shafer Think?:
"During the bowl practices, we moved him to safety, just to see what he would do," Shafer said. "And he came down and made a couple of hellacious hits."
Interesting Nugget O'Interest: In lieu of a normal "nugget", here's a video reminding you that Jeremi's family is an absolute delight.
Jeremi Wilkes, Family Giving Props (via loudoc)
Jeremi Wilkes, Grandmother (via loudoc)
Jeremi Wilkes, Family Shout Out (via loudoc)
Let Us Get a Good Look at You: YouTube is kind to Jeremi Wilkes, so let's see some highlights.
Jeremi Wilkes DB #29 Tampa Catholic (via benderk1967)
Jeremi Wilkes Big hit- Syracuse (via loudoc)
And of course, Jeremi's awesome interception in his first game back at home in Tampa.
Jeremi Wilkes big interception. Syracuse vs USF. (via loudoc)