William James recaps visit, commitment

William James recapped his official visit with ArmySports.com shortly after he touched down Sunday evening in his hometown of Chicago.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound quarterback out of Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Ill., gave his commitment to Jeff Monken before he left the U.S. Military Academy Sunday afternoon.

"It was very well," William James said. "I definitely loved being on campus. I gelled with the other committed players and some of the players who are there now. And I got a really good vibe from the coaching staff.

"I was supposed to arrive at 2 p.m. Friday but my flight was delayed for four hours and I didn't get there until 7 p.m. which caused me to miss some of the hockey game they were at. On Saturday, we did a lot of touring of the classrooms, the athletic facilities, the locker room. It was fun truing on jerseys and taking pics. Then we went to the bowling alley. We were at the Army-Navy basketball game. The atmosphere was kind of live. They fought hard till the end.

"I really enjoyed getting to know some of the guys. I saw the Hemphill brothers (Kadeem and Jalen) who I played with at Hales Franciscan back in Chicago. They've been talking to me (about West Point) throughout the entire process. They always reminded that it's not for everyone, but knowing who I am, they both thought I'd be successful and make an immediate impact. James Gibson, was there. He's a real football guy and talked a lot of football. One of the new commits, Rod Stoddard, and I talked the entire time. I said I should come up there and win a championship with him, and at the the end of the visit I decided to do just that."

James had scheduled two official visits later in the month to Valparaiso and Northern Iowa and said it wasn't his intent to commit this weekend going into the visit.

"Saturday evening I was eating with Coach Monken and he asked me if I was ready to make my commitment," he said. "I told I wasn't quite ready yet, that I wanted to discuss some things with my family first. Then he told me the entire staff thought that I was could come in and be 'the guy' at quarterback. They loved my leadership on the field and see me coming in and being very successful running the offense. I asked him to give me a couple of days to think it over. I went back to the hotel, called my parents, and after talking it over with them, they were behind my commitment, if I wanted to make it.

"Next morning, at breakfast, I sat down with my recruiter, Coach (Tucker) Waugh, and he asked me what I was thinking and I told him after talking to everyone I needed to talk to last night, I was ready to commit. He was excited and called Coach Monken over, who I gave my commitment to.

"It's definitely a big relief knowing that hard work I've put in has paid off and I have a home for college. It's still up in the air if I'll go in direct or to prep. I can retake the test and try for direct or use the prep year like a redshirt year to get bigger, faster, stronger. I'm thinking that prep may be my best option."

In his first year at Morgan Park, James had 913 passing yards to go with 847 rushing yards to lead the Mustangs to a 7-4 record in Illinois Class 6A. He was one of three commitments this weekend for Army with Donovan Lynch, who flipped from a Air Force pledge, and Hayden Haupt.

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