2021’s Garnell Wilds is a lockdown cornerback with elite instincts | Youth1

2021’s Garnell Wilds is a lockdown cornerback with elite instincts

Garnell Wilds is one of the best players from the Tampa, Florida area in the Class of 2021.


The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Wilds, who attends J.W. Mitchell High School, is a dynamic player that works as a cornerback.




Wilds has received plenty of recognition during his outstanding career, such as being winning MVP and Most Improved Player.


Wilds is humbled by the accolades and the chance to showcase his skills.  


“They are special achievements to me. It makes me feel one step closer to being where I want to be,” Wilds said. “The experience was amazing being around other people with the same or maybe different talents from me. Iron sharpen iron.”


No matter the opponent, on each snap Wilds is determined to give it his all.


Wilds is going all out.


The motor is always at full throttle whenever Wilds steps between the lines.


“My mindset is shut down the person I’m covering. I want to prevent the other team from scoring. It’s a 1-on-1 battle and I want to come out on top,” Wilds said. “My goal is for the opponent to have to work hard for anything they get.”


Wilds has great passion and energy whenever he’s on the gridiron. Wilds tells why he enjoys the game of football so much.


“I love the brotherhood you build with a team and the support you get from everyone,” Wilds said. “There’s no greater feeling than celebrating in the locker room after a big win.”


Wilds has learned many valuable lessons from playing football that he applies to his everyday life.


The main one is applying perspective to all situations.


“Football has taught me so much about life in general,” Wilds said. “It has taught me that if you want something you have to go get it.”


Wilds recalls his favorite football memory.


“When I got my first high school interception, it made me so happy because all my life I've been waiting for that moment,” Wilds said. “It’s a special memory that I’ll never forget.”


Andrew Schmitz has coached Wilds for one year at J.W. Mitchell High School.


Schmitz explains the best parts of Wilds’ game.


“His best attributes are his instinct. He has a very good feel for the game and what offenses are trying to do. He always puts himself in the best position possible to be effective and make plays,” Schmitz said. “He has good footwork and maintains good balance at all times. He uses his agility to his advantage all over the field throughout the course of game.”


Wilds takes his role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Wilds makes sure he’s a daily positive influence on his peers.


“I never let a teammate feel bad about himself no matter what. Everyone makes mistakes, so I just try to keep everyone positive and focused on us improving as a team,” Wilds said. “The best advice I give is to focus on your game and stop worrying about making a mistake.”


Schmitz adds that Wilds is one of those consummate teammates that every squad needs to be successful.


“As a sophomore on varsity he really was not in a leadership position but he led by example and came to work hard every single day,” Schmitz said. “His attitude had a positive effect on his teammates.”


Wilds is appreciative of having amazing male role models that are supportive.


“My coaches have helped make me a better player and person. They tell me to always go hard in anything you do all the time and never settle for less. Strive to be the best,” Purcell said. “Go as hard as you can no matter what the result is and at the end of the day you know you did your best.”


Schmitz is an advocate of Wilds’ capabilities.


“He made a big interception against Clearwater on a deep ball up the seam,” Schmitz said. “He makes impactful plays for our team in timely occasions. We wouldn’t have the success we did without his contributions.”


In addition to making clutch plays, Wilds also has a high level of football IQ as well.


Wilds has excellent football awareness that puts him in position to thrive.


“He sees the field very well,” Schmitz said. “The pick against Clearwater was him coming off his man early because he diagnosed the route combination.”


Wilds is on the grind to perfect and hone his craft in any way possible.


“He is always working and learning,” Schmitz said. “He is the type of player that gives it his all each day to improve and better himself at his craft.”


Wilds patterns his athletic mentality after his father.


“He played the same position as me. I'm just trying to follow in his footsteps and make it to where he did,” Wilds said. “I look up to not only the player he was but also the man that he is. He set an example for me and I want to follow it.”


Wilds is constantly striving for greatness in everything that he does.


“My goal is to be the best corner I can be, have a successful life and graduate college,” Wilds said. “I want to make my family proud of me in everything that I do.”


Wilds explains why he wants to become a Georgia Bulldog.


“They have what I want to major in and they have a family atmosphere,” Wilds said. “Also, DeAndre Baker is a big reason why I want to go there. I want to make the kind of impact he’s made at Georgia.”


Wilds lists science as his favorite subject in school.


“I have always loved science and I want to major in chemical engineering,” Wilds said. “Science is very important to understanding the world and how things work.”


Schmitz outlines how Wilds can take his game to the next level.


“His biggest area that needs to improve is his strength. He needs to make big gains in the weight room, which I know he will,” Schmitz said. “This offseason has been all about strength and he’s making gains.”


Schmitz believes the sky is the limit as long as Wilds continues to stay hungry.  


“He has been a major contributor to our football team,” Schmitz said. “He clearly has the potential to be a scholarship football player.”



Speak with a Youth1 Recruiting Counselor

Youth1’s Recruiting Counselors are on a mission to educate you on the recruiting process - one that's very competitive and starts early. Let us provide guidance through the most important decisions that shape your athlete's journey in sports.

Learn how to become a recruitable student-athlete, find out what colleges you match best with, and get the ability to message college coaches directly with a specialized recruiting package. 

Don't wait, schedule a time to speak with a Youth1 Recruiting Counselor. It's FREE! Just fill out the following information and then select a date and time in the form below. 



This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

This article was written and posted by one of our talented contributors. If you think you've got the writing, research and social media skills to join Youth1's freelance team then send a resume and writing sample to sdelia@youth1.com for consideration.