Pros: “James is an athletic and versatile big man with good potential on both sides of the ball. A case could be made for him as a defensive tackle, but his best fit in college looks to be on the O-line. He might be best utilized as a center, but displays the versatility to line up anywhere along the offensive line and be very good. He possesses very good size at this stage, especially for a center, and looks to carry his weight well on his long frame with very good upper and lower body strength. While he looks to predominately snap in the shotgun formation -- he gets the ball back quickly and accurately -- he does also have experience working with the quarterback under center. He displays very good flexibility. He looks comfortable working with a defender lined up over him. He is capable of snapping the ball and firing out low, gaining leverage and driving defenders off the ball. In base block situations, he can lean into his blocks at times and needs to continue to improve his footwork and more consistently snap his hips and maximize his power so he can consistently create the push he has shown he is capable of.” – ESPN scouting report
Cons: “May need more development in pass pro, but displays the tools to be very productive in this role with further refinement.” – ESPN scouting report
Similar to/potential role: Trey Hopkins and Mason Walters. It’s really hard to compare James to any one of Texas’ current linemen, but we’ll go with these two because of their versatility. Hopkins and Walters can play numerous positions across the line, which James is more than capable of doing himself.
Expected impact: 2013. James, the top recruit for Texas, will play in 2013. Question is: where? He prefers to play tackle but knows he’ll probably end up in the interior of the line. Center is a definite possibility, but the Longhorns also have Jake Raulerson there. He’ll work his way onto the field in 2013, though, without a doubt.