This weekend, Washington, DC's Dunbar HS and blue chip wide receiver James McDonald will open the season against perennial Ohio powerhouse Warren Harding HS and its blue chip athlete Mario Manningham. While James is focused on his head to head match up with Manningham and co., he has not completely forgot about his recruitment. Although he has no visits set, James has at least three schools that he plans to visit sometime this fall.
"I'd probably like Penn State, Notre Dame, or Pittsburgh first; one of
those first. I wanted to go to Notre Dame first because I
wanted to go see them when they played Michigan, but we have a
game. And then I was going to try to see Penn State versus Boston College, but that's also on September 11th and I have a game.
I'll see that on TV," explained James.
"A lot of games I planned on going to I can not go to. We had an
open date [on the Dunbar schedule], but we just closed it, so I'm
trying to reschedule."
In addition to scholarship offers from Penn State, Pittsburgh, and
Notre Dame, schools like Michigan State, Connecticut, Boston College,
Syracuse, Kansas, and Utah have sent James written offers.
Despite proximity to home and an early interest in them, the Maryland
Terrapins are absent from that list.
"I've got a feeling that they're not interested," said James about the
Terps. "Those (Penn State, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame) are my top
I don't have a favorite."
Despite the lack of interest in College Park, James has received plenty
of love from his three favorites. What does James like about each
of his three favorites?
Notre Dame - "Tradition. They have a young coach. I see
them going forward, instead of going backwards. Notre Dame is a
big school. I would be foolish not to consider them."
Penn State - "That's another good tradition school. They have a
great coach and they just recruited a great quarterback, Anthony Morelli. I know they're not known to pass the ball much in the
past but they have a new offensive coordinator (Galen Hall) and very
talented quarterbacks. So that's made them one of my top picks."
Pittsburgh - "With the success of all the receivers from the past,
Antonio Bryant and Larry Fitzgerald, they've been known to have good
receivers and quarterbacks to pass the ball. I like the way they
spread the ball out."
While he has three visits in mind, does James plan to make all five
"Probably not. My coach is very reluctant to take all five,"
stated James, who explained, "He says because it may mess up my chance
at all the rest of the colleges if I take all five. But I want to
take all five because it's a once in a lifetime experience. But
he's had a lot of great players in the past, so I'll just take his word
James, who was offered by Penn State back in March, mentioned Galen
Hall, Penn State's new offensive coordinator. Has Coach Hall been
in contact and have the Nittany Lions highlighted the fact that he's a
pass happy coach?
"I had to find that out myself," mentioned James, who has been doing
his homework on his top three. "The only person I stay in contact
with, because he sends me an email every other day, is Coach Moses from
Pittsburgh. He sends me an email just about everyday."
James mentioned that some of the schools on his list are looking for
multiple players at the wide receiver position. Has there been
any pressure on him to commit by any of the coaches recruiting him?
"Not much pressure, but Boston College is really looking for me to make
When does he plan to have his decision made?
"I want to make it before signing day."
(Interview by Steve Curry)
Three Visits in Mind So Far
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