Making an unofficial visit to the Wisconsin campus Saturday to meet the new strength and conditioning coach, James decided that the Badgers were the right fit for him, picking Wisconsin over other favorite – Oregon – on Wednesday.
After originally committing in the beginning of August, James becomes the 18th firm verbal commitment in the 2013 recruiting class.
"I'm sticking with the Badgers," James texted Badger Nation.
Wavering since former coach Bret Bielema left for Arkansas, causing James' position coach – Charlie Partridge – to leave as well, James re-opened his recruitment to take a closer look at other options. Oregon offered in late December.
James visited the Ducks the weekend of January 12 and had in-home visit with the coaching staff, which consisted of them being open and honest with him about playing opportunities and the status of their head coaching situation.
But James meshed with Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen and defensive line coach Chad Kauha'aha'a when they came for an in-home visit on January 15. Not only was James impressed with Andersen's history of building winning programs, James saw himself as having a big impact in Wisconsin's 3-4 defense as a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end.
"I just feel I can do so many things," James said of playing a hybrid role. "I can drop back, I can rush, I can get a sack, I can get a pick, I can read quarterbacks, I can read linemen, there are so many things you can do off of it. That's really where the game is going towards. If I can learn that before a lot of other people, it can help my career."
James also received interest from Arkansas and Michigan State after opening his recruitment, but eliminated both of those schools in mid January.
James finished his senior season with 97 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 12 sacks and four forced fumbles. The first day 2013 recruits can sign their national letters of intent is Wednesday, February 6.