Chris James is All About Family

Chicago may be a three hour plane ride from Tempe, but that gap can be easily bridged for the Morgan Park high school wide receiver who has relatives in the heart of Sun Devil country.

"ASU has been recruiting me since my sophomore year," said the 6-0 185 Chris James. "They were one of the first schools to recruit me. I haven't met any ASU coaches yet - I only been getting mail from them. But I'm real interested in them and I have family that actually lives there in Tempe."

"My aunt there talks about ASU all the time," the wide receiver continued. "She really likes it there and wants me to stay there with her. She likes the intensity of the games there, and she said they have a good academic program. Sometimes she sugarcoats and makes it seem like they're the best program in the world, but that's OK (smile)."

When asked if he's a Chicago Bears fan, he exclaimed: "of course!" Thus, this is another angle that could work in ASU's favor, since former Bears great and All-Pro Mark Carrier is the program's cornerbacks coach. "I think it would be good to meet him," James remarked, "because he can really compare Chicago and Tempe. I would love to meet him and talk to him."

James was all-league during his junior year, as he collected 30 catches for 550 yards and seven touchdowns. "I'm a natural receiver," he said as he described his attributes. "I'm fast, I run good routes, and I have good jumping ability. That's what separates me from most receivers. I need to work on my speed more. My quickness is fine, but I want to improve my acceleration. I believe you have to get better all the time."

James has no list of favorite schools, and currently has no plans for any football summer camps. Nevertheless, he already is feeling the recruiting frenzy. "It's getting crazy," he said. "Not a lot of schools recruited me my sophomore year, but after my junior year my recruiting really picked up."

Landing a Midwest player in the Pac-10 is certainly the exception, and not the rule. However, James is more than open for that possibility. "Location isn't a factor," he stated. "Wherever I have family I consider that home. So because I have family there (Tempe) that could be my new home."

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