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Tuesday, January 15, 2013
2014 RB James adds Big Ten offer

By Jared Shanker

Indiana's coaching staff dropped by Peoria (Ill.) Notre Dame in December to learn a little more about 2014 running back Chris James. When the Hoosiers came back a second time, it was more than just an informational session.

The 5-foot-9, 195-pound James picked up an offer from Indiana on Monday when assistant coach Mark Hagen came through his high school.

“The coach dropped back in today and told me the good news,” James said.

James is familiar with Indiana from watching the Hoosiers on TV and seeing them previously recruit in Illinois. Tevin Coleman, of Oak Forest, Ill., signed with Indiana in 2012, and James is a friend.

“He’s going there so he must have seen something great about the program,” James said. “If they keep stealing guys from here then they’ll do a great job there.”

Idaho, Illinois and Toledo have also offered James, and Nebraska could be next. He is planning to attend the Cornhuskers’ junior day Jan. 26.

The Huskers and James have not talked much recently, but he exchanges Facebook messages with the coaches from time to time. He is interested in checking out the atmosphere in Lincoln, which revolves around football.

James also likes the tradition at Nebraska, specifically at the running back position.

“They’ve had great running backs in the past,” James said. “If they can mold them to NFL prospects, then I know they can do it with me.”

James also heard a lot from Arkansas when Bobby Petrino was coach, and a lot from former Wisconsin assistant Chris Ash -- now an assistant at Arkansas after following Bret Bielema. However, James has yet to hear from the Razorbacks since the coaching change.

Arkansas was the first program to pursue James, and because of that it was his top school after a visit before his sophomore season.

“Arkansas was my top school. It’s a great school,” James said. “It’s the SEC. The coaches are great and the atmosphere -- they have no other sports, so everyone goes to the games.”