[Premium article] Mississippi State, in the past couple of years, has become known for finding excellent football players from the state of Alabama that seem to be overlooked by Alabama and Auburn.

The likes of Mississippi State freshman offensive lineman Avery House and red-shirt freshman offensive lineman David Stewart immediately come to mind. Both players are athletic and have good foot-speed but were not highly recruited by either Alabama or Auburn. James Newby, a 6-6, 265-pound student-athlete who plays for Athens (AL) High School, falls into that same category.

Although PrepStar Recruiting Magazine selected James to their pre-season All-Region team, he, basically, did not receive a lot of publicity in the pre-season recruiting publications except for the ones local to the state of Alabama. However, recruiting publications really mean very little to anyone but the recruiting fans who buy them and the writers who write them.

When it comes right down to it, college coaches understand recruiting better than anyone and have sources in place that help them find out about the good, but little-known players. Players such as House, Stewart, and now James Newby fall into that category.

James, during my interview with him, told me he has quite a few colleges that are showing significant interest in him. "Mississippi State, North Carolina State, Louisville and Middle Tennessee State are recruiting me," James said. He also said that, "Memphis has just joined in."

There are several obvious reasons, other than his huge frame, that have generated so much interest from so many college recruiters.

The first thing is the fact that James is a good student. Then, you can factor in that he has the athletic ability to play more than one position. According to James, "I played tight end and defensive end this year." He also mentioned another huge plus that college coaches covet when it comes to big linemen: foot-speed. "My best time (in the forty yard dash) is 4.92 seconds," James said. How significant is a 4.92 forty? Normally, 5.0 seconds is the standard linemen are measured by.

With so many positives going for James, there is no doubt why he has either visited or will visit D-I schools such as Louisville (visited them on December 15th), Mississippi State (January 11th) and North Carolina State (January 18th).

Stay tune for updates on this very talented, young football player.

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.

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