The ball-hawking safety enters his senior season as the nation's active leader in interceptions with 13. James is one interception shy of tying former Warhawk Chris Harris for the Sun Belt record and two shy of tying Vic Minor for the ULM record. He recently fielded a few questions from WarhawkNation editor Paul Letlow.
WN: How did your suspension change your viewpoint? Did it make you want to be a part of this team even more?
James: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That really opened my eyes up. Even though I knew what was going on, I had faith that I'd be back. I never felt like it was the end of the world, even if I was here or somewhere else. At the same time, it opened my eyes to football and the world. It let me know that you could have something one day, and the next it could be gone. Everything happened so quick. It was a motivation and turned my world around.
WN: We don't know what you did to get in trouble with the team but the seniors had an opportunity to vote on your return. What did it mean to you to have teammates vouch for you and Darrell McNeal?
James: We're a family. It's a big family. Inside the locker room, we all have a good relationship. Everybody makes mistakes, and we all know that. That was the big thing about it. We're a family. The captains that did help out, they've been with us since we've been here. We've all been together three or four years. We all know each other. It's like there was no doubt in anybody's mind that we wanted it. There was no doubt that we were hurting and regretted the mistakes we made. It's a Warhawk family, and they know we wanted to be part of this family. There's no "I." It's a team thing.
WN: You've always had a knack for getting your hands on the football. How does the new defensive philosophy benefit a playmaker in the backfield?
James: It comes as it comes. A pick is a pick. It really has no effect. It's playing ball. But I like quarterbacks who take chances. A quarterback going against me and knowing what type of safety is back there; I think they'll be smart. If they're coached well, their coach will tell them to get rid of the ball and throw it out of bounds and move on to the next play.