LaMichael James, ATH, 5'10, 180, 4.38, Texarkana Liberty-Eylau, Texas:
Great skill players who can change the complexion of a game with one game-breaking run are among the rarest players in football. Guys with the speed to go the distance every time they touch the football are hard to come by, and that is why LaMichael James is drawing so much attention.
There is fast and then there is fast, and James is real fast. James says his fastest time ever in the 40 is 4.28. And while you wonder if that could possibly be right you know if he is anywhere close, and if you have seen him play you know he was close, then you know he is plenty fast. He runs the 100M (10.48) and he the anchor on all relays. He can also bench 265 pounds and squat 405.
James has played running back, wide receiver, quarterback, safety, cornerback and he returns kicks and punts. As a freshman running back, James rushed for 1,587 and 16 touchdowns. At receiver he caught enough passes for 426 yards and three touchdowns. As a sophomore, James split time at running back and still managed to rush for close to 700 yards and 10 touchdowns. He played safety and running back as a sophomore and finished on defense with 70 tackles and four fumble recoveries. He also returns punts and kicks, but nobody kicks the ball to him. On defense, he plays both corner and safety depending on the defensive situation. This past season James was the district 16-3A Offensive Player of the Year and first-team all-district.
"I want to be a running back in college," said James. "I also wouldn't mind playing receiver, but really all that I know is that I want to play on the offensive side of the ball. I can make more big plays on offense."
James admits he is a little surprised by all the attention he's getting by recruiters.
"It feels good, but to be honest I didn't think I was that good," said James. "I try to stay humble when I hear all these things, but I know there is somebody better our there. I know somebody is trying to work harder than me. This homeboy has to just keep working harder."
James attended the Oklahoma State Junior Day and in two weeks will go to the Houston Junior Day, and then to the Arkansas Junior Day. James has been offered by Tulsa, Oklahoma State and Houston, and he expects Arkansas to offer him at their Junior Day.
James is also talking to Oklahoma and he admits he has a genuine interest in the Sooners.
"I talk to OU every two weeks or so," said James. "I talked to Coach Heupel and he said that the running back coach (Cale Gundy) wanted to see me before he offered me. He said that more than likely they are going to offer me. I like Oklahoma a lot. OU is a great school to go to. I think Bob Stoops is a great coach."
However, at the moment James admits he does have a leader.
"I am going to be looking for playing time and who has the strongest academic program," said James. "I don't know if I am going to play football forever and I have to have a backup plan. I am going to major in pre-law and law. I think Oklahoma State is recruiting me the hardest. I have a real good relationship with their coaches and I had a real good time at their Junior Day. They are building new facilities and all their stuff is going to be new. I also have an interest in OU, Texas and Houston. I plan on taking my visits, but I will probably make a decision before the start of the football season. Right now I have no idea where I am going, but I hope to by the start of the season."
James has qualified.
Recruiting: OU looking at Texas speedster
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