LB, 6-3, 220 lbs., 4.6
East Jefferson High School – Metarie, La.
Recorded 146 tackles, six interceptions and 10 forced fumbles as a senior on top of 75 tackles as a junior … led Warriors in tackles for three seasons … earned 5A all-state honors … selected for Orleans-Jefferson and Louisiana all-star games … three-time all-district defender for Coach Henry Rando at East Jefferson High
"Off the field, other players gravitate toward him," said Rando. "He's just that kind of natural leader. On the field, he started in the secondary as a sophomore, but we moved him to linebacker as a junior after we lost another player at that position. By the time spring practice came around the next year, he had mastered the position and put on a show for the coaches who were visiting. He was just all over the field."
Superprep Louisiana Top 30 … a four-year track letterman …
"His understanding of the game is just excellent," Rando says. "He really had to work at that when he moved to linebacker, but by the time he was a senior he was making all the reads and really playing well."
Ranked 87th best linebacker in the country by TheInsiders.com … East Jefferson teammate Fernandez McDowell signed with the Mountaineers as well … also recruited by Auburn, Baylor, Colorado, LSU and Mississippi … committed to Colorado the previous summer before switching to WVU this year … plans to study athletic coaching education … son of Carolyn and Ray Alford.
What Rich Rodriguez says: "A lot of top 25 programs offered James scholarships. He made a commitment to us, then a commitment to Colorado and then back to us. So we were a little apprehensive until we got the letter of intent back. We think he's going to be a great player. He's got good size and runs very well. He's a talented player."
What Herb Hand says: "James is a very athletic linebacker. He's also tall, and we wanted to increase the height of our linebackers. He fits that bill. He's in the same lines as a James Davis type player, and that's we're looking for."