DEXTER WIDEMAN
DEXTER WIDEMAN
South Carolina, which wants to sign Saluda High School defensive tackle Dexter Wideman, plays in today's Capital One Bowl. Florida State, which also wants to sign him, plays in Monday's Bowl Championship Series national title game.
Wideman, meanwhile, has another game to play himself.
The senior Shrine Bowl selection who shined at defensive tackle for the Tigers, plays in Thursday's Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. In front of an ESPN-televised audience at 4 p.m., Wideman will try to show on a national stage what he had done in the Lakelands.
For instance this season, he recorded 71 tackles (37 solo), five sacks, forced two fumbles and recovered two more, and blocked two kicks this season.


"Everything has been good; I've been having a good time enjoying myself," Wideman said. "Although the competition is a lot harder, I see it as preparing me for the next level. It's like we are getting prepared for a big game."
Wideman, who won't announce during the game which team he will sign with on National Signing Day (Feb. 5) plans to visit South Carolina on Jan. 17, and Florida State on Jan. 31.
Although Wideman sprained his ankle earlier this week (he was unable to attend a trip to Disney World because of it), he has seen enough action on the field so far to know what he needs to work on.
"I knew going in that I have to improve on my strength, and, really, that's about it," Wideman said. "I really need to improve on that. And, when I get back to Saluda, that's one thing I will immediately start working on when I get back."
Although Wideman has proved himself worthy of playing in Thursday's game, he has one obstacle to overcome: nerves.
 
MORE IN TODAY'S INDEX-JOURNAL