A recruiting cycle that seems to speed up each year has led to many prospects accelerating their process. Others refuse to be rushed. You can place Illinois defensive back Craig James in the latter category.
James gets serious about track at this time of year when many college prospects are visiting schools during their spring drills. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound projected cornerback plans on being on campuses this summer.
James was named the outstanding track athlete at the Granite City Invitational earlier this month. He placed first in the 200-meter dash (22.3 seconds) and ran the lead leg on the victorious 400 relay (42.7) and the 800 relay (1:29.7). He also recorded the best time to date in the state of Illinois in Class 3A in the 300 hurdles (38.68).
Scout.com ranks James as the No. 67 cornerback nationally in the 2014 class. He is coming off of a junior season that saw him earn second-team all-state honors in Class 7A, along with first-Team All-Southwestern Conference and First-Team All-St. Louis Metro laurels.
Schools began offering scholarships to James this winter and spring after getting a look at his junior film. Iowa jumped in with an opportunity for him in early April.
"I'm excited," he said. "I don't really I know a lot about them. I know they have a nice program and they're getting a new (practice) facility soon.
"I also know that they're in the Big Ten, one of the biggest conferences in NCAA football. They have a good program."
James said he will visit Iowa this summer along with Minnesota and Missouri. He's not sure which other schools he'll see beyond that trio.
"I'm pretty open right now," James said. "I don't have any favorites or anything. You really don't, not this early."
James, who is unsure about his college major, has some stipulations when it comes to choosing a college.
"The school just can't be in the middle of nowhere," he said. "It has to have some activity going on and in a program I have to be able to go to the coaches for anything and the team has to be like a family."
Assistant Eric Johnson is leading Iowa's recruitment of James.
"He just said they think very highly of me," James said.
James said he wants to verbally commit to a school at the end of December or early January.