James Visits UCLA

The River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian running back, Raekwon James, talked about his official trip to UCLA, his teammates and more...

River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian running back Raekwon James visited Los Angeles for the first time over the weekend.

James is hoping it's not his last.

An official visitor to UCLA, James, who's committed to Northern Colorado, is hopeful a late offer from the Bruins will materialize.

"It could possibly happen," said James.  "Coach (Kennedy) Polamalu and Coach (Jim) Mora told me they hope they can give me some good news.  So I'm going to hold out hope until Tuesday.  They gave me hints but nothing they said was in stone.  But of course, if they offer, I'll have no hesitation and commit."

James said a logjam of backs his size is keeping an offer from happening just yet, but he's willing to wait.

"They said they have three running backs my size and they need that pounding back, that's why they offered Nathan Starks," said James.  "But they want to take a couple more days and get back to me."

James, though, didn't let the lack of an offer affect his visit to Los Angeles.

"It was real nice. It was my first time in L.A. and being there with Kenny (Young) and Malachi (Dupre), I had a real great time," said James.  "I got to experience time with the coaches.  I met with Coach Polamalu and he's a great person.  He talked about me as a player and told me not to think so much on the field but to react and relax out there."

James said that Jordan Payton was his host as well as Dupre's.

"We really bonded with the players out there so that was real cool," said James. 

For now, James is planning to sign with Northern Colorado.

"We talked about walking on or going there for a year and maybe transferring so that could possibly happen," said James.  "But right now, unless they offer, I'll sign with Northern Colorado."

As for his fellow Bayou natives on the trip, James thinks the Bruins have a realistic shot to get all three.

"I think there is a good chance for Kenny and Malachi," said James.  "They both had a good visit and they both bonded with the position coaches.  They really liked it and liked California. I know they'd been there before and loved it and talked about it a lot before the trip.  Even Davon Godchaux enjoyed himself.  So with me, it could be four.  The more from 'The Boot', the more comfortable they'd all be."

James said that Eric Yarber was who originally started recruiting him.

"Coach Yarbs was down last year to recruit Malachi and he came by the school and I was in the gym playing basketball and he saw a little bit of my athleticism and he asked Malachi who I was and Malachi started telling him about me so Coach Yarbs had been on me," said James.

James said he could play other positions but his heart is at running back.

"I've practiced a lot at corner and I have nice enough hands to be a slot, but running back is my love," said James.

James said the highlight of the trip was seeing the venerable Rose Bowl up close and personal.

"The highlight was just being able to see the Rose Bowl for the first time," said James.  "It was being renovated but I know what it can look like and what it looked like before.  It was just amazing.  The beautiful background with the mountains.  California period is just beautiful."

Brandon is in his ninth year with Scout.com and FOX Sports, currently as a National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Scout Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the Scout Network since 2003.
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