As the 6-7, 260-pound offensive tackle prospect from Cincinnati St. Xavier was in the early stages of his junior season, he found himself receiving a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes on Sept. 1 – the first day colleges are allowed to officially offer high school juniors.
"I was honored," James told BuckeyeSports.com. "I also know I have to keep working hard, but I was honored."
The recruiting process is not something he has spent much time thinking about yet, James said. When weighing potential schools, his primary factors will be where he feels comfortable and whether or not the program has a winning atmosphere.
When he checks out schools, James said he pays attention to a number of things.
"I try to see if they have a fun time and look at the school, check out the atmosphere out there and look the players, hopefully talk to the coaches," he said.
As the Buckeyes hosted rival Michigan on Nov. 22, James was one of a few dozen recruits on hand to take in the game. He learned a few things about the program while in Ohio Stadium.
"I learned that the fans are pretty dedicated to the school," he said. "I watched all the tailgaters when I walked into the stadium. The fans are pretty crazy."
While in Columbus, James spoke to OSU offensive coordinator and line coach Jim Bollman as well as recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach John Peterson. The conversation was brief, but the coaches indicated that they would like James to return to Columbus for a junior day this winter.
"They just said they'll try to get me up for a basketball game later and let me see more of the school," he said. "They want me to go there. It was pretty brief. It wasn't that long."
He also spent time talking to Cincinnati Winton Woods defensive back Avery Cunningham, a prospect James said is someone he plays basketball with.
As for the game itself, James said he was impressed with the overall environment.
"It was great," he said. "It was really loud. I was really into the game. The OSU defense looked amazing. I just thought it was a good environment and a good atmosphere."
James' father attended Cincinnati, and he said that might play a small factor in his final decision.
"Maybe somewhat, but not much," he said.
When he talks to college coaches, James said most talk about his size advantage. He attributes his big profile in the recruiting world in part to the exposure he has received by playing for St. X.
"Our program gets a lot of attention from recruiters and colleges because we have so many other kids come through," he said. "I think that's one of the main reasons I was looked at when I was younger, earlier in my career."