Camping for three days with an estimated 500 other three-day and one-day campers, the 6-4, 220-pound James certainly got the eye-opening experience he was hoping for.
"It was an extremely hard camp, but I enjoyed it a lot just because of the difficultly and how everything was run," James told Badger Nation. "Everything was real strict on the field. Everybody is real cool but when it's time for work they mean business. It was nice being at that level of competition and hard work."
Coming off its second national championship in three seasons under Nick Saban, Alabama has used its position in the SEC conference and nationally to build a recruiting class that currently ranks seventh in the country. Since Saban took over in 2007, the Crimson Tide hasn't had a recruiting class ranked lower than seventh by Scout.com.
"They brought in a lot of the top talent around the country, so you were going against top people every day," said James. "The way they coach down there, you can definitely see why they win national championships."
Although from a school in Southeast Wisconsin not known for its football glory, James felt he more than held his own over the three days in Tuscaloosa. On a camp that emphasized hard work, James believes he was able to feature his speed and quickness off the ends and his willingness to work.
"I definitely got better because of the hard work mentality down there," said James. "I learned a lot of new things. They run a 3-4 defense, so I worked at an outside linebacker for the first time."
Because of the amount of players at camp, James did not get a chance to sit down with any of the coaching staff or pick up an offer, but left with positive feedback.
"At the end of the camp, one of the coaches gave me their contact information and told me to send them their highlight film," James said. "The coaches thought I did a good job. It's an honor to get noticed by that school."
James says his decision to make a choice between Michigan State, Notre Dame and Wisconsin is still a ‘day-to-day' process, but still hopes to make a decision by the start of his senior season. When he does return to the field, James believes his time in the Heart of Dixie will pay big dividends to his game.
"That whole mentality from the camp is going to stick with me – fighting every play, fighting for every play and going 120 percent every time," said James. "That's the hardest I have worked and was consistently being pushed to go to another level."