Hatten (6-4, 220) is rated as one of North Carolina's Top 50 Recruits by Scout.com. He moved to Hendersonville from Kentucky his sophomore year and made an immediate impact on his team and teammates (including seniors who voted the new sophomore as HHS Mr. Football). The senior Bearcat has also been named as a member of the 2007 North Carolina Shrine Bowl squad.
Hatten was a Bigger, Faster, Stronger All-American and his determination is evident. "He is by far the most consistent performer I've ever had," says Hickory Head Coach B.J. Laughter. James is known for his toughness and durability, as evidenced when he played with two broken hands his sophomore year. He was also named to the Western North Carolina All-Mountain men's track and field team as a discus thrower.
Hatten has recently given a verbal commitment to play football for the Thundering Herd of Marshall University. He has also been recruited by Army, Duke, Navy, North Carolina, NC State, and Wake Forest. Growing up as a fan of the Thundering Herd, the decision for Hatten was a simple one. He attended the 2007 Marshall University football camp and came away as the Gatorade Player of the Day.
Off the field, Hatten holds a 4.0 unweighted GPA. This mark is even more impressive due to the fact that it has been accomplished while taking AP classes and being a two-sport athlete. He is a North Carolina Scholar and has been named Academic All-Conference in 2005 and 2006.
Hatten's efforts to serving his school and community are as committed as his efforts on the playing field. As a member of the Key Club, he assists in many events or programs. He helps tutor fellow classmates at his high school and first graders at a local elementary school. At the Flat Rock Gala, a local playhouse fund raiser, Hatten served as a valet to park cars for the guests. At the high school, he has served as an office assistant and also has worked the concession stands at Bearcats basketball games.
In 2004, the Hatten family adopted two young children from Russia. The impact of his new siblings has inspired James to volunteer with the Henderson County Foster Parents Association, where he provides child care for new foster parents. "Because he's a football player, he always gets the bigger and tougher kids to take care of," says his mother Carolyn. "He'll play basketball with them and just try to have fun or keep them in line."
James Hatten and the rest of the 2007 Carolina Panthers Community Captain class will be recognized at Bank of America Stadium during a special on-field ceremony prior to the Seattle Seahawks vs Carolina Panthers game on December 16th. Award recipients will receive an authentic Carolina Panthers Community Captain jersey and will have the opportunity to participate in select Panthers community outreach events with current Panthers players.