NCF On The Trail: Football

UA jersey tour: Tyler Jordan

November, 21, 2014
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Four-star offensive guard Tyler Jordan was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey Friday morning in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. The ceremony took place in front of family, friends and teammates at the Bishop Kenny High School cafeteria.

The 10th-ranked guard and the 128th-ranked prospect overall in the ESPN 300 said he felt honored to be selected.

“I’ve been dreaming of this since I was a little kid and honestly I never thought I would be here," Jordan said.

Jordan has been committed to Florida since February but with the Gators coaching position in limbo, Jordan has received attention from a few Big Ten schools.

“I’m still committed and not wavering at all,” Jordan said. “My commitment is really solid but because of the whole coaching situation, I’ll probably take my visits. I’m not sure where yet but I’ve heard from a few that were talking to me even when I was committed. Penn State and Ohio State I talk to some but I haven’t decided where I’ll visit yet.”

The 6-foot-4, 270 pound prospect at Bishop Kenny but is being recruited by Florida and other schools to play on the interior of the line.

Seven questions with Tyler Jordan

Who was the best player you ever saw play in the Under Armour game?

Jordan: I remember watching [Jadeveon] Clowney. He’s a heck of a player — he was really good.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class who would it be?

Jordan: Probably CeCe Jefferson. I’ve played against him every year but I didn’t get a chance to this year because he was injured.

If you could start a team with any player in this class who would it be?

Jordan: Probably my entire team at Kenny. We have a strong bond and we play well together.

What’s your earliest football memory?

Jordan: Probably the first day of tryouts my freshman year. First year, first practice, first day in pads I was laying kids out and putting them on their backs.

If you could take on a professional athlete in their sport, who would it be and why?

Jordan: Mike Tyson. I’d take a punch — why not?

What would you like to improve on before you get to college?

Jordan: Body position and hand position so that I can get on to people and move them around more.

What are you looking forward to most about going to Orlando?

Jordan: Getting to play against the best-of-the best and learning from experienced coaches and former college coaches.

What’s something about yourself that not many people know about?

Jordan: I’m trying to learn how to play guitar right now, which is not going so well for me.

Tale of the tape: Ole Miss at Arkansas 

November, 21, 2014
Nov 21
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The Ole Miss at Arkansas game might not be the biggest game in the country on Saturday but it will feature two teams that are putting together solid recruiting classes. Ole Miss has the No. 22-ranked recruiting class in the country with only 14 commits. Arkansas, meanwhile, has the 19th-ranked class in the country despite only having 17 total commits.

UA jersey tour: Jeffery Holland

November, 20, 2014
Nov 20
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Four-star outside linebacker Jeffery Holland was presented with their Under Armour All-America Game jersey Thursday afternoon in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. Holland was joined by his teammates Kevin Toliver II and Kendrick Norton, who were also selected for the game. The ceremony took place in front of friends, coaches, teammates and media members at the Trinity Christian School auditorium in Jacksonville, Florida.

The No. 4-ranked outside linebacker and the 40th-ranked prospect overall in the ESPN 300 said he felt honored to be selected to one of the top All-American games in the country.

"It’s a dream come true," Holland said. "I watched it when I was younger, and it’s always something I’ve wanted to be a part of. It’s real big to me."

Holland, at one point, had Florida and Auburn as his leaders, but with Florida head coach Will Muschamp stepping down at the end of the season, things have started to change for Holland.

"It’s kind of up in the air right now. Florida State, they're in it now. Auburn they are still in it. I haven’t talked to them in a while -- but they are still in it. I’m starting to talk to Florida State a lot, I know they are in my top five right now."

Despite being open in his recruitment, Holland said he does have a top five list of schools.

"I’d say Florida, FSU, Auburn, UCLA and probably Alabama are my top five right now," he said.

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Seven questions with Jeffery Holland

Who was the best player you ever saw play in the Under Armour game?

Holland: Jamie Harper is a guy I remember playing in the game because he went here and he did a flip in the end zone after he scored. I can flip, too.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class, who would it be?

Holland: Probably CeCe Jefferson. We played on the same little league team. That’s been my boy for a long time.

If you could go one-on-one with any other player in the country, who would it be?

Holland: I’d probably want to go against Martez Ivey. I’ve never gone against him, and I’d like to go against the No. 1 tackle in the country.

If you could take on a professional athlete in their sport, who would it be and why?

Holland: I want Cam Newton. I just want to sack him. He talked too much trash at that seven-on-seven event in Bradenton.

What would you like to improve on before you get to college?

Holland: I just want to improve on my technique. I need to add more moves to my tool belt. I know I got the speed rush, but I need to add the spin move and the club.

What are you looking forward to most about going to Orlando?

Holland: Just going and hanging out with some of the top players in the country. Just having fun and having a good game.

What is something about yourself that not many people know about?

Holland: I’m a top angler. I’m a fisherman.

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UA jersey tour: Kendrick Norton

November, 20, 2014
Nov 20
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Four-star lineman Kendrick Norton joined five-star teammate Kevin Toliver II and ESPN 300 linebacker Jeffery Holland in being presented with their Under Armour All-America Game jerseys Thursday afternoon in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. The ceremony took place in front of friends, coaches, teammates and media members at the Trinity Christian School auditorium in Jacksonville, Florida.

The 99th-ranked prospect in the ESPN 300 said he felt honored to be selected to one of the top All-America games in the country.

“It just really cool that I’m maybe one of like 100 guys that gets to participate in this event. It’s an honor to play in the game."

Norton at one time was committed to FSU, but has since backed off and is considering other schools such as Miami, Florida, Ole Miss and UCLA. Though ranked as an offensive guard, Norton prefers the defensive line and several teams are recruiting him as a defensive tackle.

“I’m basically wide open,” Norton said of his recruitment. "I’m going to take a second look at Florida but basically I’m wide open. Miami wants me on the defensive line. They’ve been recruiting me real hard. Al Golden, Jethro Franklin, they talk to me every day.”

So far the ESPN 300 lineman hasn’t taken any official visits but that will soon change.

"I haven’t taken any official visits yet but I might go to Ole Miss on Jan. 29 and I’ll probably go to UCLA after the season,” he said. "Probably Miami after the season too."

Seven questions with Kendrick Norton

Who was the best player you ever saw play in the Under Armour game?

Norton: I remember watching Jamie Harper (former Trinity Christian running back) growing up. I didn’t really know who he was until I got to Trinity and I found out he actually played here but I remember watching him in the game.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class who would it be?

Norton: I’d say my entire team. I think we have a great team.

If you could go one-on-one with any other player in the country who would it be?

Norton: Whoever's the No. 1-ranked offensive guard in the country. Whoever that is, I'd want to take him on.

What's your earliest football memory?

Norton: My ninth-grade year, it was the first time I’d ever been trap-blocked. He hit me and my helmet came flying off.

If you could take on a professional athlete in their sport, who would it be and why?

Norton: Kobe Bryant. He’s the first person that came to mind other than LeBron.

What would you like to improve on before you get to college?

Norton: Just make sure I’m in shape and work on my first step and pad level.

What’s something about yourself that not many people know about?

Norton: I’m a comedian.

UA jersey tour: Kevin Toliver II

November, 20, 2014
Nov 20
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Five-star defensive back Kevin Toliver II was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey Thursday afternoon in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. The ceremony took place in front of friends, coaches, teammates and media members at the Trinity Christian School auditorium in Jacksonville, Florida.

The No. 1-ranked cornerback and the sixth-ranked player overall in the ESPN 300 said he felt honored to be selected to one of the top All-American games in the country.

“It feels very good to be selected to the Under Armour All-America game,” Toliver said. “This is an accomplishment that I wanted to receive in my life and I just can’t wait to showcase my talents on the field."

Toliver has been committed to LSU for over two years. The talented cornerback has never seemed to waiver, however, he has taken visits to Virginia Tech, Ohio State and Florida State and many wonder how strong his commitment to the Tigers really is. Toliver said his last trip to Baton Rouge certainly helped answer some questions he had.

“My last visit to LSU for that Alabama game was real good,” Toliver said. “I got to experience one of the loudest stadiums in the country and it was a very good experience for me and it just made my commitment stronger.”
Seven questions with Kevin Toliver II

Who was the best player you ever saw play in the Under Armour game?

Toliver: Just last year when I got a chance to stand on the sideline and see what the players go through and everything and seeing how they interact on the field. It was cool watching all of them. Speedy Noil really stood out to me though.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class who would it be?

Toliver: I would have to say Derwin James. Think we’d have a great team.

If you could go one-on-one with any other player in the country who would it be?

Toliver: Tyron Johnson, the No. 1 wide receiver in the country.

What's your earliest football memory?

Toliver: I’d say when I got my first offer from FIU. It was just a stepping stone and let me know to keep working hard and know that my parents wouldn’t have to pay for college if I keep working.

If you could take on a professional athlete in their sport, who would it be and why?

Toliver: I’d say Michael Crabtree. He talks a lot, I talk a lot. I think it would be a good matchup.

What would you like to improve on before you get to LSU?

Toliver: I’d say just my all around skills at defensive back. I just need to work on everything. Everybody is good at the next level.

What’s something about yourself that not many people know about?

Toliver: How hard I work away from the field when nobody is looking.

ESPN Jr. 300: What to know in the SEC 

November, 19, 2014
Nov 19
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The SEC already has five commitments from players ranked in the top 25 of the ESPN Junior 300. That list includes Greg Little, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2016 and a Texas A&M commit. As a whole, the SEC has 27 commitments in the updated ESPN Junior 300. Here’s a closer look at the updated rankings.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

November, 18, 2014
Nov 18
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As always there was a ton of recruiting news from around the Southeastern Conference. Florida head coach Will Muschamp announced he will step down from his position at the end of the season, there were key visits and new offers over the weekend. Here's a closer look at the top recruiting news from around the conference.


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Best of the visits: SEC

November, 16, 2014
Nov 16
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From Alabama's big 25-20 win over Mississippi State on Saturday afternoon to Georgia’s dominating 34-7 win over Auburn, there were some incredible games for recruits to watch this weekend. Some prospects attended the games while others watched on television and used social media as a platform to share their experiences. Here's a look at some of the top social media posts from the weekend:

Five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson took an official visit to Alabama this weekend. The No. 9-ranked player in the nation has Alabama as one of his top schools and posed for a picture with Alabama head coach Nick Saban before the game on Saturday.
The 18th-ranked prospect in the ESPN Junior 300, Rashard Lawrence, a Monroe, Louisiana, native, also posed for a picture during his trip to Alabama. An Alabama fan posted a photo of himself with five-star quarterback commit Blake Barnett after Alabama's big win. Florida offensive line commit Brandon Sandifer tweeted this photo of himself and two other Florida commits Tyler Jordan and George Brown Jr., who all visited the Gators Saturday. Alabama commit Ronnie Harrison visited Georgia this weekend and found an unusual connection with head coach Mark Richt's wife. The two posed for a picture on Saturday. ESPN Junior 300 cornerback Chad Clay posted a picture from the Georgia sideline at the game on Saturday night. Another junior cornerback, Malek Young, also visited Georgia for the exciting game against Auburn and posed for a photo on the sideline. Arkansas commit C.J. O'Grady posted a photo of fellow Arkansas commit Will Gragg before Arkansas's first SEC win under head coach Brett Beliema. Junior cornerback Ikenna Okeke posted a photo of himself with Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson.

UA jersey tour: George Campbell

November, 13, 2014
Nov 13
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TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — Five-star athlete George Campbell was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey Thursday morning in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. The ceremony took place in front of family, friends and teammates at the East Lake High School gymnasium.

Campbell, the No. 1-ranked athlete and the No. 10 player overall in the ESPN 300, said he felt honored to be selected to one of the top all-star games in the country.

“It means a lot; it’s a dream come true to play in the Under Armour All-America game,” Campbell said. “Just growing up and watching the game year after year and now being able to play it and have people watch me is pretty cool.”

Campbell has been committed to Florida State since early in September. Before his commitment to FSU, Campbell had been committed to Michigan. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound athlete, who is being recruited to play wide receiver at FSU, said there will be no more switching his commitment this time around.

“A lot of teams have backed off. ... I kind of cut everyone else off except for FSU,” Campbell said.”I’m a 100 percent to FSU. That’s where I’m going — period. I just really haven’t had conversations at all with other schools.”

Campbell said he chose Florida State because of the success they have had recently, his relationship with the coaches and, most importantly, what he believes the Seminoles are building.

“Florida State is building up a powerhouse and not just that, the guys I’m going to surround myself with are some of the best athletes in the nation. It’s pretty much iron sharpens iron. I’m just looking forward to getting better and working with coach [Lawrence] Dawsey."

As a senior, Campbell has 701 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns on 43 receptions and has helped East Lake advance to the FHSAA playoffs.



Eight questions with George Campbell:

Who is one player you remember watching in the game?

Campbell: I remember watching Jameis [Winston] and that crew. I remember last year watching Malachi Dupre and Speedy Noil and all those guys and even back to Vernon Hargreaves III a few years ago. I remember a lot of those guys.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class who would it be?

Campbell: It would have to be Derwin James, just for the simple fact that I know what I’d get out of him and he’s one of the top athletes and we could get after it together.

If you could go one-on-one with any player in this class, who would it be?

Campbell: I have two of them. I got Derwin and then I got Kevin Toliver. Those are two DBs that I know get after it all the time and they are physical and they want to compete and get better.

What's your earliest football memory?

Campbell: Probably when I first started playing flag football in Clearwater. Ever since then, it’s been something that I love.

What's something that most people don't know about you?

Campbell: I’m just really outgoing. I always keep a smile on my face and I’m happy to be alive every day. I’m very respectful and kind. That’s pretty much it.

What are you looking forward to the most during the Under Amour week in Orlando?

Campbell: Just pretty much having fun and being comfortable out there with a whole bunch of good athletes. Just pretty much getting better and learning from new coaches and enjoying the game.

What would you like to improve on before you get to college?

Campbell: Pretty much everything. As soon as the season is over, I want to train and develop every aspect of my game.

What kind of player can FSU fans expect to get from you?

Campbell: Fast, physical, a fast-learner and just someone who just wants to soak it all in and learn as much as he can on and off the field.

Despite being the No. 1 team in the College Football Playoff rankings, Mississippi State is still viewed by many as a Cinderella team, a team that has had a special season but will probably return to the pack. The Bulldogs, however, are trying to prove they're here to stay.


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UA jersey tour: Louie Zervos

November, 12, 2014
Nov 12
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TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. -- Three-star kicker Louis Zervos was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey Wednesday afternoon in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. The ceremony took place in front of family, friends and teammates at the Tarpon Springs High School gymnasium in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Zervos, the ninth-ranked kicker in the country, said he felt honored to be selected to one of the top All-American games in the country.

"It's a great honor," Zervos said. "I know a lot of top athletes from around the country play in this game so it’s a big honor to be selected for this game."

Normally players are selected for the prestigious game by playing well on the field, but for kickers the process is a little different. On-field performance still counts but the kickers also have to attend a camp and compete for a position.

"We went to a camp. Two punters were selected based on how they perform," Zervos explained. "One kicker was selected which was the automatic bid and then me -- I had to compete with someone else for my spot. I won it with a 55-yarder."

Zervos is 6-of-10 on field goals this season with a long of 46 yards and last season he went 9-of-13 with a long of 49. Despite his excellent two years kicking, the talented kicker has yet to receive any scholarship offers -- but he feels a few may be coming his way soon.

"I've been talking to Florida," he said. "I've been trying to get a visit set up there. Purdue, I'm hoping they are going to offer me sometime soon. East Carolina, I went on a visit there for their homecoming game and still waiting to hear from then, and then Virginia is showing interest."

Six questions with Louie Zervos

Who was the best kicker you ever saw play in the Under Armour game?

Zervos: Sean Covingon. He was a kicker in 2011. He played on my brother's soccer team, so I was rooting for him.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class who would it be?

Zervos: Yianni Mehas, he's a receiver on our team. I'd start a team with him.

What's your earliest football memory?

Zervos: Kicking my game-winning field goal in eighth grade against Dunedin. That was the first year I played. I played soccer before that.

What's something that most people don't know about you?

Zervos: I don't actually play video games and I love the watching the "Walking Dead." It's my favorite show.

What are you looking forward to the most during the Under Amour week in Orlando?

Zervos: I'm looking forward to playing against playing with guys from all over the country and going against the top athletes. I'm just really looking forward to kicking for Under Armour.

What would you like to improve on before you get to college?

Zervos: I'd like to improve on my power and distance on my kickoffs. I'm set for field goals right now.

Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

November, 11, 2014
Nov 11
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As always there was a ton of recruiting news from around the Southeastern Conference this weekend. There was a big commitment, there were key visits, new offers and an ESPN 300 offensive lineman is almost set to announce his decision. Here’s a closer look at the top recruiting news from around the conference.


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Best of the visits: SEC

November, 9, 2014
Nov 9
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From Alabama’s big 20-13 come-from-behind win over LSU Saturday night to Texas A&M’s big win over Auburn Saturday afternoon, there were some incredible games for recruits to watch this weekend. Some prospects attended the games while others watched on television and used social media as a platform to share their experiences. Here's a look at some of the top social media posts from the weekend:

ESPN 300 guard Matt Burrell Jr. tweeted out a few photos of him during his time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for his official visit to LSU.
LSU commit Kevin Toliver II, who has visited other schools, used his official visit this week to attend the LSU-Alabama game. The five-star cornerback tweeted a picture of his visit itinerary he received when he arrived on campus. Auburn commit D'Anfernee McGriff has been working hard on flipping his friend and fellow Tallahassee, Florida, native John Burt. The four-star Burt took his second visit to Auburn this weekend. Former Florida linebacker commit Adonis Thomas backed off his pledge to the Gators after Florida lost to Missouri earlier in the year. The ESPN 300 took a visit to LSU this weekend and likes the Tigers along with Alabama and Florida. He tweeted out his thoughts on how a few of the games played out on Saturday. Five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson took an official visit to LSU this weekend. He shared a photo of LSU's white uniform. ESPN Junior 300 linebacker Michael Divinity shared a photo of himself on the field before the LSU-Alabama game on Saturday night. 2017 athlete Jamyest Williams tweeted a photo from the Mississippi State-Tennessee Martin game.
TAMPA, Fla. -- ESPN300 ATH Ray-Ray McCloud III, was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey Thursday morning in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. The ceremony took place in front of family, friends and teammates at the Sickles High School gymnasium in Tampa, Florida.

The 12th-ranked athlete and the 151st-ranked player overall in the ESPN 300 said he felt honored to be selected to one of the top All-America games in the country.

“I feel honored and blessed. Just growing up and watching this game and wishing and dreaming of playing in this game and now dreams are coming to reality,” McCloud said. "I feel blessed to be presented with my jersey today. It’s a dream come true."

McCloud has been committed to Clemson since July. The four-star athlete has never wavered in his pledged to the Tigers despite still being pursued by several other schools.

“With Clemson, I’m 100 percent. That’s where my heart is right now,” the four-star athlete said. "But other schools like Bama, Ole Miss, UCLA, Florida and USF are recruiting me hard but I’m solid to Clemson.

“I just like the character they build at the schools. The football players, coaches and even the rest of campus is a caring culture and everybody is all about Clemson. They put God first. Coach Dabo [Swinney], his character is just off the charts. He loves the kids."

Six questions with Ray-Ray McCloud III

Who was the best player you ever saw play in the Under Armour game?

McCloud: I’d say Vernon Hargreaves III. Him coming from Florida and representing the area like he has. He’s lived up to the hype and done his thing.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class who would it be?

McCloud: Derwin James. Just with his leadership and the way he carries a defense. He can pick up the defense and just change the whole defense.

If you could go one-on-one with any other player in this class who would it be?

McCloud: Probably Byron Cowart. They beat us my sophomore year, and I’d love to go against him again.

What's your earliest football memory?

McCloud: When I was playing little league football I had a 60-yard touchdown called back, then a 70-yard touchdown called back, then finally an 80-yard touchdown that counted. I was done after that.

If you could take on a professional athlete in their sport, who would it be and why?

McCloud: A.I. — Allen Iverson. He’s my favorite basketball player and I’d like to go against the best.

What kind of player can Clemson expect to get when you get on campus?

McCloud: A leader, ready to work. I’m mature and a guy that’s dedicated in everything he does.

UA jersey tour: Derwin James

November, 5, 2014
Nov 5
2:45
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HAINES CITY, Fla. -- ESPN 300 safety Derwin James Jr. was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey Wednesday morning in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. The ceremony took place in front of family, friends and teammates at the Haines City auditorium.

The No. 1-ranked safety and the No. 19-ranked player overall in the ESPN 300 said he felt honored to be selected to one of the top All-American games in the country.

“First of all, I think it’s a blessing to be selected to the Under Armour All-America Game,” James said. “Not too many people get to be named an All-American, so it’s an honor."

James has been committed to Florida State since February 2012. The four-star recruit has never wavered in his pledge to the Seminoles despite still being pursued by several other schools.

"Oh yeah, teams are still coming after me, like Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Louisville,” James said. “They tell me that until I sign the papers there's still a chance, but I’m Florida State all the way -- even have an FSU tattoo.”

The 6-foot-2, 202-pound hard-hitting safety believes FSU will continue to have success both on the field and in recruiting.

"I think Florida State is on the rise,” James said. "When I first committed to FSU we weren’t on the top yet, but I feel like with all the recruits coming in that we are going to be on the top for a couple years.”

Seven questions with Derwin James

Who was the best player you ever saw play in the Under Armour game?

James: I remember Karlos Williams had a key interception and he had a few big hits. He’s from this area, so I really remember him playing in the game.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class, who would it be?

James: It would be Byron Cowart. He’s just a man. He could be the heart of a defense.

What's your earliest football memory?

James: My first first football memory was winning the Super Bowl in Pop Warner. I scored the game-winning touchdown.

What number do you wear and why?

James: I wear 6. That’s been my lucky number. Ever since I was little, 6 was always a number I wanted to wear.

If you could take on a professional athlete in their sport, who would it be and why?

James: LeBron James. He’s the king. He’s the best in the NBA.

What's something most people don't know about you?

James: I’m humble and laid back and I just live life and like doing what I do -- play football.

What kind of player can Florida State expect when you get on campus?

James: They can expect to get a leader and someone that is about winning and just coming in and being dedicated and laying it all on the line.

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