ATHENS – This story must begin with a correction: Javon Wims never visited Oklahoma, as it sounded like the way Baker Mayfield told it a couple weeks ago, when he made clear how much he wanted to get Wims to become a Sooner.
Wims was supposed to visit Norman, just before National Signing Day in 2016. But Wims, then a highly-sought junior college prospect, elected not to go.
“It was the last second, and I backed out,” Wims said. “I knew it was Georgia.”
It’s worked out for both parties, at least until now. Something will have to give in the Rose Bowl when, for those unaware, No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 Georgia will square off for the right to play in the national championship.
Two years ago, Wims was at Hinds (Miss.) Community College, where the Florida native had caught the eye of major programs. He committed to Georgia under Mark Richt, then after the transition to Kirby Smart he heard from and considered other programs, most notably South Carolina and a certain Big 12 power.
“It was Georgia or Oklahoma,” Wims said.
Mayfield, speaking two weeks ago at the college football awards show in Atlanta, made clear he remembered Wims well.
“We really tried to get him there,” Mayfield said. “A talented player. Obviously that shows in the plays that he’s made there. He’s an impact guy. He’s a guy that you throw the ball up and he’s going to go get it while the ball’s in the air. And so a lot of respect for him. He’s a guy that I would’ve liked to throw the ball [to], so I know Jake’s enjoying that.”
That would be Jake Fromm, for those needing the first reference.
Mayfield also said he saw similarities between himself and the freshman Georgia quarterback, and Wims said he did too.
“I do. I definitely do. They do things similar,” Wims said. “Just one guy’s older and one guy’s younger. That’s all. That’s the only difference.”
Wims said he never actually met Mayfield, but got the full-court press via the phone, including FaceTime. Mayfield went on to be the Heisman Trophy winner this season.
“He’s a great guy. He’s a very great athlete,” Wims said. “He’s a good quarterback. Very animated guy, fired-up guy. Receivers, I know they love playing with him.”
It worked out well for Wims too, who is Georgia’s leading receiver with 38 catches for 631 yards and six touchdowns. The tall (6-foot-4) and athletic receiver has probably also put himself higher on NFL scouting boards.
He also gets his first-ever trip to California.
“It’s going to be nice. But once again, it’s another game. It’s another business trip,” Wims said. “It’s going to be a great atmosphere. And it’s a huge honor to be able to be in the Rose Bowl. But we’re going to do it right.”