2014 Running Back Impresses At Illini Camp

There is some good young running back talent developing in the Illinois high school ranks. One of the top 2014 prospects is Chris James. The Niles Notre Dame athlete camped with the Fighting Illini in Barrington recently and has the measurables to be a good one.

2014 running back Chris James enjoyed his experiences at a recent Illinois summer camp in Barrington.

"It was fun to come out here and have fun with everybody. The competition was really good, so I liked that too. I've been working all year on competing and catching."

James made a good impression on UI coaches as well, recording a 4.5 forty time and going over 29 feet in the standing triple jump. Those stats confirm what James knows about himself as a running back.

"I have speed, I'm explosive, and I have great hands."

However, a somewhat slow 4.37 in the shuttle pointed out a weakness the 5'-10", 192 pounder needs to overcome.

"I want to work more on lateral quickness. I've been working on that with my trainer."

Still, Illini coaches gave him good feedback.

"They said I need to work on some things a little bit. Be a little more agile; that's what I've been working on. Besides that, they said I did well."

James has no offers yet, but there is plenty of interest.

"I have Arkansas interested, Wisconsin, Oregon, Ohio State and hopefully the Illini."

He likes schools that run the ball.

"My favorite school was Ohio State, but they got a little sketchy because I don't like the spread that much. Right now, my favorite school is Arkansas. I know Illinois runs the ball a lot, so that kind of caught my eye a little bit too."

James has other criteria he also feels are important for the college he chooses.

"The atmosphere, the tradition and whatnot. You've got to pick a school you'll be at the next four years. You're not gonna go there if you don't feel comfortable there. So when I do make the decision, it's gonna be a school I can see myself at the next four years."

Academics is a consideration as well.

"I haven't decided on a major yet. If I had to decide, it would probably be something like Computer Technology. My grandpa had a degree in math, so he's always telling me about computers. So I can kind of follow in his footsteps."

Niles Notre Dame had mixed results last year, but James is working hard to make 2012 a big one for him and his high school team.

"Last year was kind of rough. We went 5-5, the o-line was a little shady. But I've got them working this off season, so this year is gonna be a great year. We have a lot of guys coming back."

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