A Long Weekend

West Orange-Stark High's James Haynes traveled to Baton Rouge on Tuesday after a weekend camp in Austin with the Longhorns. Back in the Lone Star State after his one-day visit, the junior cornerback talked over his hectic few days.

In January, James Haynes’ recruitment heated up.

“When I got those offers from Florida and Oklahoma, I knew big things were in store,” he said.

Yet, the two teams that had long been favorites to Haynes – Texas and LSU – were not putting the pressure on, let alone handing out offers.

Five months later, however, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound prospect found himself in a unique situation.

“The coaches at Texas and LSU both got back on me a couple weeks ago, and each school said that they wanted a closer look at me,” Haynes said.

With the Texas State Track and Field meet being held last weekend – where Haynes and West Orange took first place in the 3A 4x100 relay – the junior had plenty to juggle.

“I bounced from the meet to the Texas campus, then over to Baton Rouge and back home, all in a couple days,” he said with a laugh. “I am pretty tired, but I feel like I did what I went out there to accomplish.”

Working alongside defensive backs coach Ron Cooper, the three-star prospect got a good feel on how the Tiger program was run.

“Coach Cooper was a really great coach, and he got after me right away with the teaching aspect of the game,” Haynes said. “Being that it was my first time to work with [Cooper], I walked away happy. He gave me a lot of one-on-one instruction, and that is what you want at a big-time camp.”

Even the Tiger headman got in on the action.

“Coach Miles talked to me for a couple minutes about how solid of an athlete I was,” Haynes said. “He told me that I was one of the more impressive guys to show up, so that was great to hear.”

While Haynes tabbed his performance as impressive, the junior headed back to Orange empty handed.

“We never really talked an offer, and coach Cooper said he would continue evaluating everyone and keep in touch,” he said. “I am not sure where I stand with LSU right now, and I don’t think I will be back for the July camp.”

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