The 6-4 1/2 280 pound offensive tackle committed to UCLA at The Opening this summer, with the plan to shut down his recruiting. That was the case until just recently. Andre James is looking to set up a few official visits to take after the season.
"I just wanted to make sure I'm not overlooking or underlooking any schools," James told me through direct message. "Before I make any final decisions, I want to make sure I've look at everything, all the way through."
"I am just waiting for our season to finish up before I take my visits," James stated. "I'm talking to Coach Harding tomorrow and will hopefully set something up. I'll also be reaching out to the other schools, as well."
I've seen James play twice this season, and both times, he displayed great athleticism and strength. For his size, James runs well and is a tremendous road-grader. Herriman has run for 2,691 yards (299 YPG) and 32 touchdowns, and James is one of the main reasons for their success. The Mustangs are busting off 7 yards a carry and a lot of it is coming right behind James.
"I know I'll be going to visit UCLA when they take on USC next month," James said. "I actually talked to the UCLA coaches tonight and had a great talk. They are cool with me checking out few other schools. I also talked to Utah tonight and we talked about me visiting this weekend, but I think my visit will probably come after the season, in December. The last visit I am looking to set right now is Ohio State. I am looking to touch base with Coach Warinner to lock in a visit. Utah and Ohio State are really the two schools that have kept in touch with me these past few months. I will also consider a few other schools, but they've really all fallen off. Maybe Oklahoma, we'll see."
James still considers himself a solid UCLA commit, but provided some insight on what the official visits to other schools are about for him.
"I am definitely planning to be at UCLA next year," James explained. "But, I really think that taking a harder look at a few schools can't hurt. I just don't want any regrets. This is a huge decision, so reevaluating will never hurt. The Bruins have been great to me and I am still planning to play there."
UCLA should feel pretty comfortable with holding on to James, but the fact that James has family in the Columbus area, as well as 25 minutes down the road from Salt Lake City is a little concerning for the Bruins.
"You know, I have definitely thought about having family close by and how that could be really nice," James claimed. "It's not make or break, but it's a factor I am thinking about. Family is important to me, so that's a big reason I am open to the Utes and Buckeyes."
The 2014 season is not a factor that James is considering in his decision. He is looking at the bigger picture, and doesn't think the current season tells very much.
"Honestly, I don't really care much about what's going on right now," James said. "UCLA is a really young team and so the struggles they are having right now don't mean all that much to me. My commitment is about the next four or five years, not the next month or two. The fact that Utah is ranked or Ohio State is without their star QB isn't a big deal. My decision is based off so much more than that. UCLA's future is really bright with all that talent they have. I also know that Ohio State is always going to be in the mix and Utah is starting to build a solid Pac-12 program."
While the situation is not ideal for UCLA, it sounds like James is planning to stick with the Bruins. The Buckeyes and Utes have to be licking their chops hoping to flip the four-star offensive tackle.