Reggie Wilkerson on the go

BRADENTON, Fla. -- By the time Sunday's elimination rounds began at the IMG Madden 7-on-7 tournament the word had gotten out: Stay away from Citra (Fla.) North Marion cornerback Reggie Wilkerson.

The 6-foot, 175-pound junior ripped off several games with multiple interceptions during Saturday's preliminary rounds and it made for a pretty quiet Sunday.

"Yeah, no one's passing to my side today so I might have to move to safety or something," Wilkerson said on Sunday. "I probably should have slowed it down a little [Saturday] so the word couldn't get out."

But slowing down is hard thing for Wilkerson to do.

"Reggie is just one of those guys that doesn't stop," said North Marion coach Craig Damon. "He's a lot like my former player Latroy [Pittman] in that sense. Much like Latroy wasn't satisfied with just being the best wide receiver, he wanted to be the best downfield blocker too.

"Reggie comes from that same cloth. He wants to make the biggest impact on the field he can. If that's at cornerback he'll do that, if it's at quarterback or wide receiver he'd do that. If I asked him to go on the offensive line he'd try to figure out a way to be the best blocker."

Maybe it's a family thing -- Wilkerson and Pittman, who is now participating in spring practice with the Florida Gators, are cousins.

"Latroy has always been someone I competed with a looked up to," Wilkerson said. "He is one of the hardest workers I know."

Wilkerson played quarterback at North Marion as a freshman and sophomore but moved to more of an all-purpose role as a junior.

"I really liked being able to play all over the field," Wilkerson said. "I love wide receiver but my natural position is cornerback because I feel like defense is where the game is won."

With the departure of last year's starting quarterback there's a good chance Wilkerson could be back behind center.

"It's possible because my goal as a coach is to get the ball in Reggie's hands as much as possible," Damon added. "He's our best player on the field."

Wilkerson's ability has helped him get a nice jump on his recruitment. With offers from Georgia, Clemson, South Florida, South Carolina, Utah, UCF and several others, Wilkerson has plenty of options right now.

"I'm staying pretty open to everything because there's a lot that I want to see over the next few months," Wilkerson said. "So far I've only seen Florida's junior day and that was real nice."

Wilkerson admits the Florida Gators are his favorite school and is hoping for an offer from the program.
But in the meantime he is open to the idea of going to school outside of the state.

"Programs like Georgia and Clemson definitely interest me a lot," Wilkerson said. "I was very excited when I received the Georgia offer because that's a big-time program and an offer like that can put you on the map.

"I know I'm going to go to both of those programs over the summer along with a lot of other places in the Southeast," he said. "I'm definitely an SEC/ACC type of player. I like the style of football we play here in the Southeast because it's fast and it's intense."

As Wilkerson's recruiting continues to take shape the player has his goals for his senior season right in front of him. He wants to help North Marion get over the hump and finally win a state championship. The Colts have been close at times, reaching the state semifinals on three occasions in the past seven years, and Wilkerson has been on the wrong end of close playoff decisions the last three seasons.

"I really want to win a state championship for the school and the community," Wilkerson added. "It would mean so much to the people around North Marion. We've been real close and I thought last year was going to be the year but it always comes down to a play here or a play there.

"This year we have to be the ones making those plays."