Winding path takes Jacksonville native from Orange Park mall to NFL Draft

Javon Wims led Georgia in receptions and touchdowns last season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Unconventional. That’s the best way to describe Javon Wims’ path to the NFL draft. After playing only one year of high school football at Ed White the receiver had only one division one offer. Wims had the grades but didn’t meet the required test score so he ended up at NAIA Belhaven University.

A foot injury limited him to only seven catches for 55 yards in his lone season at Belhaven. Wims left the school and returned home to Jacksonville where he spent the 2014 football season working at both a gymnastics center and at the clothing store Designer Closet in the Orange Park mall. 

“I was still training but realistically doubt started to creep in when you don’t have anywhere to go,” said Wims, who is preparing for the draft at Boost Sports Performance on the Southside.  “I left the only sure thing I had which was Belhaven and I was looking for the next opportunity. I was trying different places and getting rejected. I was told that I wasn’t good enough, not fast enough, not strong enough yet and at the time I still needed to grow. I got one opportunity at Hinds Junior College and I made the most of it.”

Raymond, Mississippi has a population of 1,933 people. But it was there at Hinds where Wims reached his untapped potential. He caught nine touchdowns during the 2015 season and landed an offer from the University of Georgia. 

“I just kept working hard and never gave up,” said Wims. “Every opportunity I got, I made the most of it. I’m thankful for everybody who gave me an opportunity.”

As a senior Wims led Georgia in receptions (45), receiving yards (720) and touchdowns (9) as the team won the SEC Championship and finished as the runner-up in the National championship game. He’s currently projected as a day three pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

“I still have a chip on my shoulder,” said Wims. “I had to work for everything I have.  I appreciate this journey and I wouldn’t change the route I’m on. I still have that hunger and I still have that chip from all the people that told me I wasn’t good enough. From all the times I got rejected I still have that hunger in me.”