JAMES “J.J.” WILCOX, JR.

Strong Safety/Slot Receiver/Athlete

Georgia Southern University Eagles

#19

5:11.3-214

Cairo, Georgia

Cairo High School

 

OVERVIEW

Wilcox has made a lot of changes throughout his football career, but based on his invitation to the prestigious 2013 Senior Bowl, he appears to have found a home at strong safety after years of bouncing from position to position with the offensive unit. His addition to the Senior Bowl is also very important to the GSU program, as he became just the second player in school history to be selected to play in the game, joining running back Adrian Peterson, a 2002 participant.

 

“It’s a great showcase to be able to show off Georgia Southern to the nation,” Wilcox said after the Senior Bowl’s Monday’s practice. “It’s a blessing. I was in the right spot at the right time. The coaches put me in a great position, and it’s a blessing and a privilege just to be able to play.”

 

And that position is where he hopes to remain. After spending three years on the offensive side of the ball where he accumulated 964 career rushing yards, Wilcox moved to safety before the start of 2012 fall practice. The Cairo, Georgia, native ranked second on the team with 88 tackles while also returning 31 kicks for 780 yards. He was also selected to his first ever All-Southern Conference team that season in a voted conducted by the league’s coaches.

 

Wilcox first began his football career at Cairo High School, where his father, James Sr., was also a member of the team years prior in 1976. He earned first-team All-Region and All-Area honors as a wide receiver after he helped the Syrupmakers win the 2008 state championship and rank sixth in the state of Georgia with a 14-0 record.

 

That season, Wilcox recorded 22 catches for 400 yards and five touchdowns from the flanker position. He was also a standout on defense, recording 77 tackles, three forced fumbles and one interception his senior year as a free safety. Along with teammate  Johnathan Bryant, both decided to enroll at Georgia Southern for the 2009 season.

 

Wilcox appeared in eight games as a freshman, starting four contests at the “Z” receiver (flanker) position, missing three midseason contests with an injury. He managed to snatch sixteen passes for 179 yards (11.19 ypc) and on special teams, he recorded a trio of tackles.

 

As a sophomore, Wilcox moved to the slot receiver position, starting fourteen contests. He led the Eagles with 551 yards and three touchdowns on 22 receptions (25.05 ypc), adding 484 yards and six scores on 85 carries (5.69 ypc). He again saw action with the coverage unit, totaling two solo tackles while closing out the 2010 campaign with 1,035 all-purpose yards.

 

Wilcox was again on the move during his junior season, this time, becoming the team’s “A” Back, where he started eight of the thirteen games he appeared in, including all three playoff contests. He had only seven receptions for 168 yards and a touchdown, but did pick up 480 yards and score seven times on 52 chances on the ground (9.23 ypc). He also saw action on defense, making three tackles, including assisting on a stop behind the line of scrimmage.

 

From a 184-pound freshman, Wilcox had a growth spurt prior to his senior season, checking back on campus for fall camp at a rock-solid 214 pounds. As had been their mode over the last three seasons, the staff again decided to move their star player around, only this time it was to the opposite side of the ball. Wilcox would now be the Eagles strong safety for 2012 and he had just weeks to go through a “cram course” in defensive terminology.

 

Wilcox proved to be a “quick read,” as he would not only start thirteen games, but earn All-American and All-Southern Conference honors. He registered 88 tackles, deflected three passes and intercepted two others. His coaches were still not done playing “musical chairs” with their senior standout when they greatly increased his role on special teams.

 

For the coverage unit, he blocked a punt vs. Elon and also took over kickoff return duties, where he ranked 29th in the nation with a 25.16-yard average on 31 attempts. He was not exactly done as a ball carrier, either. In his final appearance as an Eagle, he took a handoff and powered his way into the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown in the playoffs vs. North Dakota State.

 

Wilcox’s size, athleticism and versatility caught the attention of talent evaluators, including Phil Savage, executive director of the Senior Bowl, who brought him to compete vs. the nation’s elite prospects. With his solid performance in Mobile, Wilcox may have put himself in position to be the first GSU athlete drafted since Jacksonville selected another defensive back, David Young, in the sixth round of the 2003 draft.

 

CAREER NOTES

Wilcox started 39-of-50 games at Georgia Southern – four as a “Z” (flanker) receiver; fourteen as a slot receiver; eight as an “A” Back; thirteen at strong safety…Recorded 96 tackles (53 solos) with an assisted stop behind the line of scrimmage, two interceptions and three pass deflections…On offense, he caught 45 passes for 898 yards (19.96 ypc) and four touchdowns, adding 968 yards and thirteen touchdowns on 138 carries (7.01 ypc)… On special teams, he blocked one punt and returned 33 kickoffs for 791 yards (23.97 avg), finishing his career with 2,657 all-purpose yards…His yards-per-carry average of 7.01 yards rank seventh on the school career-record chart (minimum 100 carries)…His 19.96-yard receiving average is second in school history (minimum 40 catches), topped by only

Teddy Craft (24.15-yard average on 45 catches for 1,087 yards; 2003-05)…His 791 yards gained via kickoff returns placed eighth on the Eagles’ career-record chart.

 

2012 SEASON

Wilcox earned second-team All-American honors from The NFL Draft Report and was rated the best safety prospect in the nation at the Football Championship Subdivision level…He added All-Southern Conference first-team honors from the league’s coaches and was a second-team pick by the league’s media, Southern Pigskin and College Sports Madness… Became the second Georgia Southern player to play in the Senior Bowl, joining running back Adrian Peterson (2002 game) on that list…For the fourth consecutive season, Wilcox moved to a different position for the “good of the team,” leaving behind his teammates on offense for life as a strong safety…Despite not practicing at that position until a few weeks prior to the season opener, he not only started thirteen games, but finished second on the team with 88 tackles (47 solos), as he also had two interceptions and three pass break-ups, along with a blocked punt vs. Elon…In his final appearance as an Eagle, he had one last rushing attempt and scored on a 4-yard scamper vs. North Dakota State in the FCS playoffs…Also returned 31 kicks for 780 yards (25.16 avg), as his yardage total is the third-best season mark in school annals, as only Laron Scott (1,161 in 2010; 1,040 in 2011) gained more yardage in a season for the Eagles…His second interception of the season sealed the Eagles’ quarterfinal victory over Old Dominion…Opened the season with a pick vs. Jacksonville and posted a season-high 12 tackles vs. Samford…Tallied 10 stops vs. Wofford and recorded 9 tackles vs. FBS foe Georgia…Returned three kicks for 101 yards, including a long of 53 yards at The Citadel (9/8)…Totaled six returns for 147 yards two weeks later vs. Elon, where he also blocked a punt and posted six tackles…Returned five kickoffs at Georgia for 117 yards…Had a season-long return of 57 yards vs. Howard, along with registering seven tackles.

 

2011 SEASON

Wilcox played in thirteen games, starting eight contests after shifting from slot receiver to “A” Back…Gained 480 yards on 52 carries (9.23 ypc) while scoring seven times on the ground…His yards-per-carry average was not enough to qualify for the school record (needs minimum of 100), but the record at the school was 7.52 yards by Adrian Peterson (257-1,932) in 1998…Had only seven receptions, but gained 168 yards (24.0 ypc) with one touchdown…Returned two short kickoffs 11 yards and recorded three tackles in brief action on defense, also assisting on a stop behind the line of scrimmage…Scored his lone receiving touchdown vs. Chattanooga…Carried the ball eight times for 97 yards and one score and caught two passes for 63 yards vs. Tusculum…Rushed six times for a season-high 115 yards and two touchdowns vs. Western Carolina…Nearly posted a second 100-yard game and finished with 99 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries vs. Maine… Caught two passes for 35 yards at North Dakota State (12/17).

 

2010 SEASON

Wilcox moved to slotback from the “Z” receiver position and played in all fifteen games, earning fourteen 14 starts…Set the school season-record for average yards per catch with 25.05 yards on a team-best 22 receptions for 551 yards and three touchdowns…Carried 85 times for 484 yards (5.69 ypc) and six scores…Chipped in with two solo tackles as a member of the coverage unit…Was involved in 12 plays of 20 or more yards…Scored his first career touchdown vs. Savannah State with a precision-like 26-yard run down the right sideline, finishing the day with three carries for 36 yards and added a 23-yard reception, Jaybo Shaw’s first completion as an Eagle…Shaw and Wilcox teamed up again for another first vs. Navy with a 17-yard touchdown reception, a first for Wilcox and for Shaw in a Georgia Southern uniform…Came up big at Coastal Carolina with four rushes for 25 yards and two receptions for 34 yards and a 15-yard score…Was also the recipient of the longest pass of the year, a 63-yard from Shaw at Chattanooga in the fourth quarter to put the Eagles in the red zone, as Wilcox gained 121 receiving yards at Chattanooga, which ranked as the season-best single-game total for Georgia Southern in 2010. He also had 35 yards rushing in that game and snared a 58-yard first-half touchdown pass that accounted for his other receiving yards vs. the Mocs…Added a rushing touchdown late in the game vs. Wofford…Caught an 18-yard pass from Shaw vs. Appalachian State that brought GSU to the Mountaineer 13-yard line to set up for the tying score…Scored the first touchdown of the game  vs. Western Carolina and then grabbed 46-yard pass from Shaw on their second scoring drive…Had 107 yards on three receptions – two of 40-plus yards, as he brought Eagles to the Furman four-yard line with 47-yard catch early in second half and scored on two-point conversion vs. Paladins after his one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. He also made a crucial tackle on a Furman fumble recovery by bringing down the Paladin defender at the GSU 8…Scored two touchdowns, one in the first quarter, one in the fourth in Eagle playoff game vs. South Carolina State…His only reception at William & Mary put the Eagles within striking distance for their go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter.

 

2009 SEASON

Wilcox started four of eight games at the “Z” receiver position, missing three games due to injury…Collected 179 yards on sixteen receptions (11.9 ypc) and recorded three tackles as a true freshman.

 

INJURY REPORT

2009 Season…Sat out the Elon (9/26), Wofford (10/03) and North Carolina (10/10) with an undisclosed injury (could not be verified as we went to press).

 

AGILITY TESTS

4.51 in the 40-yard dash…1.55 10-yard dash…2.56 20-yard dash…4.09 20-yard shuttle…

7.02 three-cone drill…35-inch vertical jump…10’4” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times…30 ½-inch arm length…8 7/8-inch hands…74 ¼-inch wingspan.

 

HIGH SCHOOL

Wilcox attended Cairo (Ga.) High School, playing football for head coach Tom Fallow…

Earned first-team All-Region and All-Area honors as a wide receiver after he helped the Syrupmakers win the 2008 state championship and rank sixth in the state of Georgia with a 14-0 record…That season, Wilcox recorded 22 catches for 400 yards and five touch-downs from the flanker position…Was also a standout on defense, recording 77 tackles, three forced fumbles and one interception his senior year as a free safety…Along with teammate Johnathan Bryant, both decided to enroll at Georgia Southern for the 2009 season.

 

PERSONAL

Management major…Resides in Cairo, Georgia.

 

PLAYER STATISTICS

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
STATS GP GS TK SO AS FR FC INT TFL PBU SACK BK
2009 08 04  03  01  02  00  00 0-0 0.0-00   00 0.0-00  00
2010 15 14  02  02  00  00  00 0-0 0.0-00   00 0.0-00  00
2011 13 08  03  01  02  00  00 0-0 0.5-01   00 0.0-00  00
2012 14 13  88  47  41  00  00 2-0 0.0-00   03 0.0-00  01
TOTAL 50 39  96  51  45  00  00 2-0 0.5-01   03 0.0-00  01

NOTE-All games played/started prior to 2012 are for those played on offense.

 

RECEIVING STATISTICS RUSHING STATISTICS
STATS NO YARDS AVG TD LONG NO YARDS AVG TD LONG
2009  16      179 11.90  00    37 000      000  0.00  00    00
2010  22      551 25.05  03    63 085      484  5.69  06    26
2011  07      168 24.00  01    43 052      480  9.23  07    36
2012  00      000 00.00  00    00 001      004  4.00  01    04
TOTAL  45      898 19.96  04    63 138      968  7.01  13    36

 

KICKOFF RETURNS
STATS NO YARDS AVG TD LONG
2011  02      011 05.50  00    11
2012  31      780 25.16  00    57
TOTAL  33      791 23.97  00    57

 

WILCOX GAME BY GAME LOG

2012 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Rushing

Int. Ret.

Punt Ret.

Kickoff
Ret.

Tackles

PBU

No

Gain

Loss

Net

TDs

No

Yds

TD

No

Yds

TD

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Jacksonville 09/01/12 Jacksonville 58-0

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

Citadel 09/08/12 at Citadel 21-23

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

101

0

4

3

0

0

0

0

Elon 09/22/12 Elon 26-23

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

6

147

0

2

4

0

0

0

0

Samford 09/29/12 Samford 35-16

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

33

0

7

5

0

0

0

1

Western Caro. 10/06/12 at WCU 45-13

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

5

0

3

1

0

0

0

0

Wofford 10/13/12 Wofford 17-9

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

53

0

5

5

0

0

0

0

Furman 10/20/12 at Furman 38-17

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

35

0

3

3

0

0

0

0

Chattanooga 10/27/12 at UTC 39-31

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

0

0

0

1

Appalachian St. 11/03/12 APSU 28-31

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

80

0

1

4

0

0

0

0

Howard 11/10/12 Howard 69-26

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

76

0

3

4

0

0

0

0

Georgia 11/17/12 at Georgia 14-45

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

112

0

6

3

0

0

0

0

Central Ark. 12/01/12 UCU 24-16

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

69

0

3

4

0

0

0

1

Old Dominion 12/08/12 at ODU 49-35

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

3

54

0

0

5

0

0

0

0

North Dakota St. 12/14/12 at NDSU 20-23

Yes

1

4

0

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

15

0

1

3

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

1

4

0

4

1

2

0

0

1

0

0

31

780

0

41

47

0

0

0

3

 

2011 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Rushing

Receiving

Kickoff
Ret.

Tackles

No

Gain

Loss

Net

TDs

No

Yds

TD

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Samford 09/03/11 at Samford 31-17

Yes

1

3

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tusculum 09/10/11 Tusculum 62-21

Yes

8

97

0

97

1

2

63

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Western Caro. 09/24/11 WCU 52-20

Yes

6

115

0

115

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Elon 10/01/11 at Elon 41-14

Yes

9

47

1

46

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Chattanooga 10/08/11 UTC 28-27

Yes

4

30

0

30

0

1

20

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Furman 10/15/11 Furman 50-20

Yes

9

64

0

64

1

1

18

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Presbyterian 10/22/11 Presbyterian 48-14

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Appalachian St. 10/29/11 at APSU 17-24

Yes

3

9

0

9

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Citadel 11/05/11 Citadel 14-12

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

11

0

0

0

0

0

0

Wofford 11/12/11 at Wofford 31-10

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Alabama 11/19/11 at Alabama 21-45

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

1

Old Dominion 12/03/11 ODU 55-48

Yes

1

7

0

7

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Maine 12/10/11 Maine 35-23

Yes

8

99

0

99

2

1

32

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

North Dakota St. 12/17/11 at NDSU 7-35

Yes

3

10

0

10

0

2

35

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

52

481

1

480

7

7

168

1

2

11

0

2

1

1

0

1

 

 

2010 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Rushing

Receiving

Tackles

No

Gain

Loss

Net

TDs

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Savannah St. 09/04/10 Savannah St. 48-3

Yes

3

36

0

36

1

1

23

0

0

0

0

0

0

Navy 09/11/10 at Navy 7-13

Yes

4

12

0

12

0

1

17

1

0

0

0

0

0

Coastal Caro. 09/18/10 at Coastal Caro. 43-26

Yes

6

37

0

37

0

3

49

1

0

0

0

0

0

Elon 09/25/10 Elon 38-21

Yes

3

22

0

22

0

2

51

0

0

0

0

0

0

Wofford 10/09/10 Wofford 31-33

Yes

10

75

0

75

1

2

41

0

0

0

0

0

0

Chattanooga 10/16/10 at Chattanooga 27-35

Yes

8

35

0

35

0

2

121

1

0

0

0

0

0

Citadel 10/23/10 at Citadel 20-0

Yes

3

10

1

9

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Samford 10/30/10 Samford 13-20

Yes

5

13

9

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Appalachian St. 11/06/10 Appalachian St. 21-14

Yes

3

16

1

15

0

3

35

0

0

1

0

0

0

Western Caro. 11/13/10 at Western Caro. 28-6

Yes

5

32

2

30

1

1

46

0

0

0

0

0

0

Furman 11/20/10 at Furman 32-28

Yes

6

18

1

17

1

3

107

0

0

1

0

0

0

South Carolina St. 11/27/10 South Carolina St. 41-16

Yes

11

54

4

50

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

William & Mary 12/04/10 at William & Mary 31-15

Yes

7

70

2

68

0

1

19

0

0

0

0

0

0

Wofford 12/11/10 at Wofford 23-20

Yes

4

26

0

26

0

1

13

0

0

0

0

0

0

Delaware 12/18/10 at Delaware 10-27

Yes

7

48

0

48

0

2

29

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

85

504

20

484

6

22

551

3

0

2

0

0

0

 

2009 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Rushing

Receiving

Tackles

No

Gain

Loss

Net

TDs

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Albany (NY) 09/05/09 Albany (NY) 29-26

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

3

35

0

0

0

0

0

0

South Dakota St. 09/12/09 at SDSU 6-44

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

2

24

0

0

0

0

0

0

Western Caro. 09/19/09 WCU 27-3

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

4

37

0

0

0

0

0

0

Elon 09/26/09 at Elon 14-28

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Wofford 10/03/09 at Wofford 26-21

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Carolina 10/10/09 at UNC 12-42

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Chattanooga 10/17/09 UTC 30-20

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

1

37

0

0

0

0

0

0

Appalachian St. 10/24/09 At APSU 16-52

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

4

31

0

0

0

0

0

0

Samford 11/07/09 at Samford 10-31

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

1

8

0

1

0

0

0

0

Furman 11/14/09 Furman 22-30

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

1

7

0

1

1

0

0

0

Citadel 11/21/09 Citadel 13-6

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

0

0

0

0

0

16

179

0

2

1

0

0

0

 

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