20 in 20: CB Ronnie James

The 20 in 20 series is back at Scarlet Report, where we take a look at all of the newcomers for Rutgers training camp and summer workouts. We continue today with the next in the James family – cornerback Ronnie James.

Glassboro (N.J.) three-star cornerback Ronnie James has a new goal as he approaches college enrollment at Rutgers. James, the younger brother of Rutgers star Paul James, wants to follow names like Ruhann Peele, Justin Goodwin and Josh Hicks.

James committed to Rutgers as a cornerback, but his goal is “to play more than one position in college football.

The older James, who walked on in 2011, was exclusively a running back. Ronnie James, however, wants to be more versatile.

“He’s kind of a one-tool player and I like to move around,” Ronnie James said. “He’s a great running back. You give him the ball. He makes plays. For me, I like to jump around and play corner then jump over to receiver. I’m more adjustable, and can help in a few different ways. He’s used to running the ball all of the time. I’m willing to move around to different positions.”

On the way to an 8-2 season, James led Glassboro with 1,423 yards from scrimmage at a rate of 9.4 yards per touch. He logged a team-best 59 tackles defensively and 21 touchdowns offensively.

“Coming up from a Group 1 school, it’s small,” James said. “All of my teammates or opponents would worry about the higher groups being better teams. In my mind, just because they’re a better school doesn’t mean they have better athletes. Big or small, you can compete. It’s a point to prove, and I want to prove it at Rutgers too.”

Following Darian Dailey’s dismissal from the program and academic concerns for junior Nadir Barnwell, James has a chance for early playing time at cornerback.

“Even if that didn’t happen, I’d want to challenge myself to make that happen to make it to the field,” James said. “It might be a bit of an easier opportunity because of what happened, but that doesn’t matter. I’d rather have the challenge to earn my spot.”

As Paul James enters his final Rutgers season, Ronnie James enrolls for his first at the end of June.

“I know I’m going to miss home, but I know it’s not going to be that bad because I have my brother up there with me,” Ronnie James said. “He said I have to earn a spot for myself. Whether or not I have family on the team, I have to earn my own opportunities. I have to work hard to move up the chain and get playing time.”

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