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Friday, April 6, 2012
FSU's Wilder Jr. returns to practice

By Matt Fortuna

James Wilder Jr. returned to Florida State's practice Thursday, one day after coach Jimbo Fisher reinstated him to the team.

"Wilder was out there," Fisher said. "We'll take care of everything internally now. He's still got some work to do for me, so we'll get that taken care of. Just his presence, his enthusiasm on the field, and that big body running through there now is different."

Wilder Jr. pleaded no contest Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of resisting an officer without violence after being arrested Feb. 22 and charged with obstructing a law enforcement officer without violence and battery on the officer. He was released on $2,000 bail.

Fisher announced Wednesday that the running back would be able to resume all activity with the Seminoles. Inclement weather, however, forced the cancellation of Wednesday's practice.

"It's huge," Fisher said Thursday of Wilder's return. "The pounding he brings and he was running well on the outside; and caught a nice ball on the goal line for a touchdown."

Wilder Jr. rushed for 160 yards and a touchdown on 35 carries as a freshman last season, and he caught two passes for 14 yards.

Fisher acknowledged that the time off hurt Wilder Jr., who is the son of former NFL running back James Wilder Sr.

"It hurt him just because of where he is in his development, because he's a young guy and any time off the field for a young guy hurts them," Fisher said. "But he's doing the things he has to do. He's doing really well in school right now. Hopefully he'll learn from that and move on."