Navy feels James can be a "dominate force"

Daniel James has a wide range of offers which include all eight Ivy League schools and prestigious military academies. The 6-foot-2, 270-pound defensive lineman attends McKinley High School in the Louisiana state capital city of Baton Rouge. He tells that while he hasn't made a top five yet it's "the great opportunities" that have him intrigued with service academies.

"They pay for everything and, in turn, give you the best education out there," James said of Air Force and Navy. "My father was in the Army, as was my great-grandfather. Military service has been a part of my family. I love my country and I'm willing to fight for it. I'm looking at doing something in the medical field, possibly becoming an orthopedic surgeon, so I think I could do something at either school that's compatible with my career path.

"At Navy, my recruiter is Keith Jones. He came to my school in the spring and we've stayed in touch ever since. When he offered he said they like my explosiveness off the line, that I have a quick first step. He also mentioned my hands and my ability to make plays. They think I can come in and be a dominant force most of all on the line inside or outside. They'll switch me around."

James calls his senior at McKinley his "best so far". In six games with the Panthers, James has recorded seven tackles or loss and two sacks.

"I knew I needed to put on some muscle weight in the off-season," he said. "It presents an advantage right off the top. I feel like I've done well being a disruptive force, getting into the backfield. We can make a run in the playoffs. I always thought this team has a chance to be pretty great.

"As far as recruiting, I'm still looking at everything. I want to take my five official visits. After I do, I'll be close to making a decision. I want to play for coaches who have a winning attitude. I think that's contagious to be around. I want to be in a place with a diverse feel to it where I can surround myself with new, interesting people. On my official visits I'm going to talk with the other players about their experience to get their perspective on things. One of the main things I'll look at doesn't involve football, but what school has the best program to become an orthopedic surgeon. That's something I've known I've wanted to pursue for awhile."

After the season James plans on returning to track and field to throw the shotput an event he competed in previously in the Junior Olympics. Top Stories