James Rates Buckeyes High After Visit

One of the top players in Ohio, Cincinnati St. Xavier offensive tackle Matt James is going through the process of visiting his top schools and made his way up I-71 to visit Ohio State this weekend. Find out what James had to say about visiting with players and coaches as well as academics at OSU in this update.

Cincinnati St. Xavier offensive lineman Matt James is one of the highest rated uncommitted recruits left on the list of many teams, and Ohio State got its crack at the 6-7, 260-pound offensive tackle when he made his official visit to Columbus this weekend.

Named a first-team All-Ohio choice by the Associated Press this season after a good senior season for an excellent Bombers squad, James said he enjoyed getting to meet Buckeye players, recruits and coaches on his trip.

"Going into it, you know about how the facilities are, you know the program's prestige," he said. "Going into this visit I pretty much just wanted to talk to some of the other recruits that committed, talk to some of the players that are there – get to know more about the people there. I've been there for other events so I've seen the facilities, but this was the first time I got to spend a day talking to the players and the other recruits so that helped."

James said he was hosted by Corey Linsley, a freshman who redshirted this year out of Youngstown (Ohio) Boardman, and also spent time talking to committed recruits Andrew Norwell – a fellow Cincinnati native and offensive lineman – quarterback Taylor Graham and kicker Drew Basil.

"I feel like I fit in pretty well," James said. "I just talked to those guys a lot."

The four-star prospect, the nation's No. 11 offensive tackle according to Scout, also talked about his time with the Buckeye coaching staff and head man Jim Tressel.

"It was kind of divided – my parents were with the coaches and stuff for a lot of time – but when I was with the coaches for the day just hanging out you get to see how good they are their jobs, how much they care for the players, how well they do things and they can explain things a better way," James said "You can talk to them and see how personal they are and easy to talk to."

When it comes to academics, James said, "It's impressive. You look at the years and stuff about Academic All-Big Ten, you see … within the last 10 years he's taken them to No. 1 every year. It's just impressive. Also, it's impressive how many tutors they have. It's pretty encouraging."

James said he also plans to take visits to Cincinnati, Notre Dame and Florida, although he doesn't have the dates set for those trips. Because he'll play in the U.S. Army All-American Game in January, James said he likely will make his choice late in the process so that he can fit in his other visits.

In the meantime, after the visit to Ohio State, the soft-spoken James said he is still considering the Buckeyes.

"I think right now they're pretty high on my list," he said.

In another noteworthy occurrence, head coach Brian Kelly just made a switch from one of the schools James is considering, Cincinnati, to another in Notre Dame, something the recruit has taken notice of.

"It's interesting," he said. "It has to change things, but I don't think the position of where (the schools) were changes much with it."

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