Even before Arkansas' Elite Camp started on Saturday, the Razorbacks had already picked up a commitment from one of the nation's best 2013 prospects.
Katy (Texas) Cinco Ranch tailback Jamel James (5-11, 218, 4.38) said that he had pledged to sign with Arkansas and thus became the school's first commit of the junior-to-be class..
James, who rushed for 1,179 yards and 16 touchdowns last season while splitting carries with SMU signee K.C. Niemchi, chose the Razorbacks over offers from LSU and Texas Tech and interest from schools like Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M and Oregon..
"It was just the environment," James said. "As soon as I got here and got out of the car, it just amazed me. It was one of the nicest stadiums that I have ever seen before…Add that to all the coaches I have talked to and facilities and I just love it.".
Add that to the fact that Arkansas has sent several backs to the NFL and that he is familiar with current Razorback junior tailback Knile Davis and James saw no reason to wait.
"It's all the great running backs that have come out of here already – Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and they've got Knile Davis now," James said. "I know (of) Knile Davis. He lives right up the street from me. I don't know him personally, but that was motivation for me to come here, too. I have seen how he has progressed since he got here and I feel like I can do the same.".
Arkansas offensive line coach Chris Klenakis is the lead recruiter on James..
"He has so much enthusiasm and is just fired up all the time," James said. "I love that about a coach. I thought he was going to pass out when I told him. He was pretty excited. I'm excited. All the coaches are excited.".
James – who says his top goal is to become a better leader this season - is built to run over people, but also has the blazing speed..
"I just try to catch people off guard," James said. "Most people think I am going to try and run them over, but I also use my speed. I also try to hit you before you hit me.".
James said that while his commitment is an early one, it is also a firm one..
"This is it," James said. "I'm done. Arkansas. I am a Razorback. Getting it done is a relief for me. Now I now where I want to go and know what I have to do to get into where I want to go.".
James Commits to Arkansas
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