Tuesday, April 9, 2013
RB Chris James trimming list next month
By Jared Shanker
School comes to a close at Niles (Ill.) Notre Dame Prep next month, which means its star junior running back could be cutting his list of potential colleges soon.
Chris James has offers numbering in the double digits, and he says he will likely start trimming his list at the end of the school year.
“Once school is over I’ll probably start narrowing down,” he said. “I’ll plan it with my grandmother. Then we’ll narrow them down [to a final group] in December.”
James holds two of the schools with the latest offers, Michigan State and Pittsburgh, in highest regard. He visited the two schools on consecutive days in March, and he was offered by both programs on his visits.
James is particularly impressed with Michigan State’s recent success with running backs under Mark Dantonio with the likes of Le’Veon Bell and Javon Ringer coming through East Lansing the last few years.
“It’s always a great history of running backs,” James said. “I talked with Coach Dantonio and saw practice, and they’re a run-first type of team, and those are the schools I’m leaning toward.
“… Michigan State is definitely up there.”
The Pitt visit was more a result of a well-timed Facebook message. As James left Michigan State, he received a message from a Pitt coach online. James told him he was in East Lansing, a considerably closer drive to Pittsburgh than Chicago, so the coach convinced James to take a ride to the Steel City.
“It’s like Chicago, near the city,” James said. “And it’s really nice how the facility is with the Steelers. It’s cool because you can always learn from some of the stars there.”
Several Big Ten teams, such as Nebraska and Wisconsin, are still evaluating James. James has not talked with the Badgers coaches as much since Bret Bielema left Madison for Arkansas. Nebraska would like to get James on campus for a visit or camp before going any further.