St. Thomas More offensive coordinator Shane Savoie has had some talented receivers work their way through his system, but he's as excited about Jordan James (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) as he has been about any of them.
"He's a unique talent," Coach Savoie responded when asked about James. "He played defensive end for us as a freshman and then moved to wide receiver as a sophomore. His dad was a star at the local college. Once people hear his dad is Calvin James they start talking about his dad, the local legend.
"He played last year for us as a sophomore. I believe two out of his six catches went for touchdowns. We plan on using him a lot more this year. He's one of those guys that we really need to get the ball to. He's really impressive.
"He's growing and developing as a receiver," coach Savoie said. "He's ‘rocked up'. He's pretty big. He's not a skinny guy and when you look at him you know there is something there. Because of his size, he creates a lot of match up problems for other teams. He's getting to the point where he's growing into his body and really starting to become athletic in his frame. In that, his routes are getting a lot better, and he's catching the ball a lot better. This year he's going to be able to showcase what he's able to do.
"He returns kicks. He's plays some safety. We use him in some nickel and dime situations. He's a big guy that can run around and make plays so we use him on the defensive side of the ball when we can."
Several top programs have already been making their presence known, including Notre Dame.
"He's getting recruiting stuff from all over. He's getting it form USC, Notre Dame, LSU, Texas…just about everywhere," coach Savoie explained. "I haven't talked to any of the Notre Dame coaches, but if you watch enough TV on coach Weis, you get to understand him quite a bit. I've heard coach Haywood talk at a couple clinics, and I was impressed with what he talked about and his thought process. I don't know any of the coaches personally, but I have heard a couple of them speak on a number of occasions.
"Jordan told our receivers coach his top schools and as recall, Notre Dame was in there along with Texas and LSU and a few others. He's definitely looking everywhere."
James is not only a tremendous football prospect, but coach Savoie believes that he is the complete package.
"He's a super person," Savoie said. "He's a tremendous leader even as a junior. He's really good at pulling the other guys with him. If he had no talent whatsoever, he'd still be a kid you'd want to spend time with, he's just that good of a kid. Wherever he decides to go, they'll get a gem of a kid. He's confident in his abilities, but he's not very vocal about it. He speaks up when he needs to. He's real good about knowing when he needs to step up and say something and when he doesn't. I'm real pleased with where he is at as a person and as a player.
"This is one of the better academic schools in the state. You have to work to get your grades here and he's staying on track. We make the kids aware of what they need to do in order to be eligible and he's right on track."