But, as previously mentioned, James stepped in and guided his team to yet another successful season.
In his first start James led Bowie to a thrilling 38-36 win over state-ranked Dallas Skyline, rushing for 184 yards and 2 scores on the night. The 5-foot-9, 151-pounder would go on to throw for 1,750 yards with 20 touchdown passes and 998 yards with 14 more scores on the ground while leading the Volunteers to an 11-2 record and district championship.
College programs quickly took notice of James' playmaking ability and made their way to his school this spring to get a close evaluation. Now that Perry is healthy and back for his senior year, James made the shift to receiver during the spring but still gets his snaps at quarterback.
"I'm just working on getting in the weight room and getting ready for next year," he said. "I had a pretty good spring season. On offense we still have some work to do but we're getting better. They mix me in at slot, outside and quarterback in some packages. They're trying to have me and Keaton on the field at the same time."
"TCU has been talking to me, they came out to our practices a few times and I know they want me to come to their camp," James said. "Oklahoma State wants me to come out to their camp. Iowa and Rice have also been recruiting me."
According to James, TCU is showing the most interest at the moment. That could be in large part that his ex-coach, Kenny Perry, is now on the football staff at TCU. The familiarity with his former coach and the fact that Bowie has sent players to TCU in recent years is a big reason the Frogs sit among his favorite teams.
"Right now TCU is one of my favorites, I really like TCU right now," he said. "They're known for getting a lot of Bowie players and I like what they got over at TCU. They're one of my top schools right now."
James visited TCU for the last practice of the spring and has been invited to come back but hasn't had time in his schedule to do so. He'll attend a mini-camp in the summer and if all goes well, he could be on the verge of receiving an offer.
"Coach Perry has told me if I get out to a camp and if I do good they're looking at offering me," James said. "I'm going to try to show out. They're looking at me as a slot receiver up there."
James and his Bowie teammates qualified for the Texas State 7-on-7 tournament last week with their championship run at the Colleyville SQT. James scored three touchdowns against Hebron in one game.