A change of scenery and an opportunity to see the field on a regular basis proved to be all that 2016 Lake Marion cornerback Eugene James needed. Given the opportunity with some coaching and that change of scenery was all James needed.
The 5'10 185 pound prospect seized that opportunity and made the most of it. He shared with us his junior season stats and talked about his change of scenery.
"I had 6 interceptions, 41 solo tackles, 2 pass break ups, and one touchdown this season."
James talked about his best game of the season was one that had some extra meaning for James and he explained why.
"I think my best game was against my previous school, Orangeburg-Wilkinson. I had an interception and 6 solo tackles. It was so amazing because I had recently transferred from there because of the lack of playing time."
So what was the transition from O-W to Lake Marion for James?
"It was very smooth! My coach got me in there and he took me to Clemson's and Georgia Tech's camps where I learned a lot. Lake Marion is a perfect fit for me. I went from getting no playing time at O-W to becoming a star."
Breaking down his own strengths and areas for improvement James had this assessment.
"My strengths definitely would have to be my zone and off man coverage. That and my open field tackling ability."
"The most important thing for me to work on this off season is my press coverage and my recover speed also."
"I'll be attending Coastal Carolina's junior day and I also got an invite to NC State's spring game. As far as other schools I'd like to hear from my dream school is North Carolina. I'm also interested in Cincinnati, East Carolina, and TCU."
For his senior season next year James talked about the goals that he's set for his team and himself on a personal level.
"For the team, I would love for us to be lower state champions after losing to Timberland in the 1st round this past season. My personal goals are to record 10 or more interceptions and 55 or more solo tackles."
James reports a 2.8 GPA in the classroom and says he'll be taking the ACT next month.
After our initial interview James informed us that his head coach had spoken to North Carolina and that he'd be visiting Chapel Hill soon with him and 2017 teammate S/QB Davondre Robinson (UNC offer).
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INSIDE THE NUMBERS...EUGENE JAMES
Bench press: 205 pounds
Squat: 400 pounds
Power clean: 225 pounds
Fastest 40: 4.59 seconds