Despite having played only two season of high school football so far, 2018 China Spring (Tex.) athlete Tyrick James has already started picking up interest from some of the top programs sprinkled across the nation’s midsection.
While the 6-foot-2, 215-pound sophomore is receiving interest from Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Florida, his first offer came from SMU running back coach Claude Mathis days after a visit to the Hilltop.
“It felt great,” James explained. “When I told my mom she felt relieved that I could now go to college without her paying.”
While on campus for his first time at the spring game, James enjoyed checking out the environment and football facilities, but he also liked getting to know some of the coaches he would be dealing with regularly.
“He (Mathis) is a very easy guy to talk to—a very easy guy to get along with,” James said of Mathis. “The first time I met him he was really excited to talk to me. The coaches, in general, interact and engage with the players well.”
The two-way athlete can lineup almost anywhere on the field, and while he plays both linebacker and slot in high school, SMU offered James as a 3-back.
While some of the bigger programs like James’ defensive game, SMU believes his skillset translates well to their offense.
“We run the same offense at China Spring, but (SMU’s) is just a faster tempo,” James said. “I’d rather play offense too because with the adrenaline, I can hit harder with the ball in my hands.”
With so much time before he has to make a decision, James is taking his time with the recruiting process.
His only two visits to school have been to Texas A&M and SMU, and he doesn’t have any set visits at this point (although he says he will check out SMU again this summer at some point).
With summer just around the corner, James plans on improving his route running and speed during practices this spring before checking out a number of camps over the summer.