Pierre is a former North Carolina signee who was forced to reopen his recruitment after UNC would not admit him. The first coach he called was Syracuse assistant Nick Monroe, who established a relationship from his time at bowling Green.
"I loved him ever since he was at Bowling Green," Pierre said. "That was one of my first offers. Coach Monroe has been watching since the first senior spring game. He knows what I'm capable of doing and how much effort and hard work I can apply for Syracuse.
"Now that he's the DB coach (at Syracuse), I'm loving it."
The Sunshine State product was an early commitment to Miami during his original recruitment, but flipped to the Tar Heels after the Hurricanes were dealing with staff changeover. He also held offers from Cincinnati, Louisville, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin, among others.
He had even more opportunities once he received his release from North Carolina. Illinois showed some interest. Both Kentucky and Colorado were aggressively pursuing and attempting to get him on campus, but Pierre saw no need to take other visits.
"Just a better opportunity to hit the field as a young freshman," he said. "Syracuse wants me to come in and play right away. Just have to be physically and mentally ready."
Syracuse can use some more size in their defensive backfield, and Pierre certainly fits that mold. His high school coach told InsideCarolina.com, when he signed with the Tar Heels, that Pierre has a very high ceiling.
“James is just a very heady player and a student of the game," Deerfield Beach head coach Jevon Glenn said. "He has one of the highest football IQs that I’ve seen in the nine years I’ve been at Deerfield Beach. That allows him to make exceptional plays on the football field, because he’s able to diagnose plays and process information quickly. He studies hard at it and he’s a natural.
"He’s a long, lengthy safety with great range and he just has great football instincts. He reminds me of a longer Ed Reed. Ed was one of the smartest football players, he wasn’t the biggest, he wasn’t the fastest, but he was the smartest and was always in position. James needs to get stronger and bigger, but he has a high ceiling.”
That is certainly lofty praise comparing him to one of the best safeties to ever play. The Syracuse coaches would certainly love to have that level of a player.
Pierre is Syracuse's 22nd member of their 2016 class. He is the sixth defensive back for the Orange as well.
Below is a picture of Pierre on his visit.