When the basketball season was completed, the itch to return to the football player came back too, so James went out for football at Mt. San Jacinto for the first time since his senior year in high school.
And it appears that the return has worked out well for him.
James, a cornerback for Mt. San Jacinto, has a state leading 7 interceptions and a slew of tackles and is hoping that his immediate success on the gridiron will turn into some scholarship offers.
"New Mexico State has been calling me. They wanted me to send them some film and then we talked about setting up a visit," said James. They are saying they have their eye on me and are very interested. They told me that if I was serious about starting, then New Mexico State is a school that I should seriously consider."
James said the other schools who have been showing interest in him are Nevada, San Diego State and Henderson State (D-II).
Still somewhat new to the game, James is only in his second year of football.
"I only played my senior year in high school. I had a couple of JC's look at me but no other colleges. I wasn't really interested in trying to play football, I wanted to play basketball," said James.
When he left for San Diego State, he went solely as a student, but couldn't shake the feeling of wanting to return to competitive sports.
"So I went to Mt. San Jacinto and played a year of basketball. Then I decided to give football a try again. It's working out, but I'd really like it if schools would start calling more," said James. "I had no idea it would go as well, but its kind of why I wanted to do it to see how far I could take it."
Should James leave after the 2005 season (he'll have his A.A. in December and hopes to be enrolled at a 4-year school come spring), he would have two years of NCAA Division I eligibility. If he left after his sophomore year, he'd only have one year of D-I eligibility.
While James said New Mexico State has shown the most interest, he said that he'd more than welcome a return to Montezuma Mesa if the Aztecs would offer.
"I'd really like to go back there and play if it works out," said James.
Through eight games, Mt. San Jacinto is 6-2 and plays Southwestern (Calif.) College this Saturday.