Focus '06 - Chris James (WR)

Chicago's Morgan Park High School is fast becoming one of the top destinations for college recruiters during the spring evaluation period. Things will be no different in 2005. There are several Mustangs that will sign letters of intent next February. One of the best is wide receiver <b>Chris James</b>. James already has a Big Ten offer and several top programs have made early contact.

"Illinois has already offered me a scholarship," said Chris James.

"I've been getting a lot of mail. Some of it is hand-written and some schools are just sending camp info and questionnaires.

"My early favorites are Illinois, Purdue, Iowa, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Michigan."

James is planning on hitting a lot of junior days in the next few weeks and started his unofficial visits last weekend at Illinois.

"Man, I loved the whole atmosphere at Illinois." James said.

"The fans at the basketball game were crazy. I can't tell you what an atmosphere like that does for the athletes. There was orange everywhere.

"The coaches at Illinois are great. Coach (Ron) Zook and Coach (Mike) Locksley made me feel very important to the future of Illinois football. Coach Locks is the offensive coordinator and he's also recruiting me, so that will be huge for me when it's time to make my decision.

"I'm anxious to see what everyone else has to offer. I'm going to junior days at Notre Dame, Purdue and Michigan within the next few weeks.

"Notre Dame is going to have a passing offense with Coach (Charlie) Weiss there. Purdue is known for the passing offense and Michigan is Michigan. You have to look at them (Wolverines).

"Hopefully I'll get the chance to see Iowa and Michigan State this spring or summer. Iowa is a great program and they've gotten a lot of guys from Illinois to go there. Michigan State is in the picture because Coach (Reggie) Mitchell used to recruit Morgan Park when he was there. Coach Mitchell is now at Illinois but I'm still interested in Michigan State."

Chris James had a solid junior season. He had 30 catches for 550 yards and 7 touchdowns. James and Morgan Park quarterback Demetrius Jones should be one of the best pitch-catch combinations in the Midwest in 2005.

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