Hurst loves the SEC

One of the best in the country next fall will be playing in the state of Indiana. Plainfield native James Hurst is an elite offensive tackle and he holds over 20 offers. Schools across the country are after him and he is looking hard at programs in the SEC.

"I can't talk down about the schools in the ACC, Big Ten, and other conferences, but I love the competition level in SEC," said James Hurst.

"There are great coaches there, great players, and great schools in that conference. I just like the SEC a lot."

He is hearing from schools all across the United State. Some of the schools that have recently offered Hurst are Florida, Penn State, Miami, UCLA, Alabama, Ohio State, and Florida State.

The 6-foot-5, 271 pound OL holds 22 scholarship offers in mid March and things are really heating up for Hurst.

"I am talking about three or four different schools a week and I am getting a lot of mail every day. I have been getting new offers a lot lately and things have picked up a lot."

He talks to his parents and his coach about the recruiting process, but he also talks to his brother. Nelson Hurst is currently a freshman at Mississippi State and he has been through this same process, so he offers his younger brother some advice.

"He just tells me to slow things down and to pick everything apart," said Hurst. "He just tells me to find the school that best fits me. He doesn't pressure me to come to Mississippi State or anything like that because he wants me to make the best decision for me."

The Bulldogs were the first school to offer Hurst. They offered him the summer before his junior season. Since then, 21 other schools have jumped in and made this Indiana star a target.

Hurst said that Notre Dame, Mississippi State, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama were recruiting him the hardest at this time, but that does not give those schools an edge.

He has listened to his brother and he is taking everything as slow as possible.

"I am pretty open to everyone right now. I have some schools in my head, but I would say that I am pretty open."

He has some big visits coming up. North Carolina and Duke just got him on campus for visits and he has visits set to Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee during his spring break (March 30-April 5).

Not too long after that, he plans to make his first cut. He will likely trim his list to 10 before cutting that in half, then making his decision.

"I will have it down to 10, then I will get down to about three to five schools by mid summer," said the elite tackle. "I will then be ready to commit the first or second week of August."

"I will definitely be making my decision before my senior season."

All the visits Hurst has taken and will be taken are key for him. A big part of his decision will be based on how he feels on campus. He wants to be comfortable and he also mentioned the coaching staff and their style of coaching playing into his decision.

Hurst is not only a star football player, but he is a star student. He carries a 4.27 GPA, he is ranked 11th in his class, he scored a 29 on the ACT, and he is set to be an early graduate.

Chad Simmons is the Recruiting Analyst for the South Region and he can be reached at

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