Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Bama watching ESPN 300 LB James
By Jared Shanker
Four-star Springfield (Ohio) High School outside linebacker Davonte James does not get the same publicity as some of his fellow ESPN 300 members, but he has caught the eye of one of the nation’s elite programs.
The No. 17 outside linebacker nationally, James will visit Alabama in mid-July, and the staff said this spring he is under consideration for an offer if he makes it to camp.
Springfield coach Eric Gillespie said when the Crimson Tide coaches were at the school during the spring and spoke with him that they told him the same regarding an offer for the 6-foot-1, 233-pound linebacker.
“That’s what the coaches have told me in the spring. Coach [Nick] Saban walked in a [Tide coaches’] meeting and said ‘I really like him and want to offer,’ but with Ohio kids sometimes it’s tough to make that trip [to Alabama],” Gillespie said. “That was what they were saying back then, but things change over time. We’ll see. We’ll get him down and we’ll see.”
Whether the Crimson Tide offer, James, No. 232 in the ESPN 300, said they still have to surpass his top two of Georgia Tech and West Virginia. He visited both schools this summer and raved about each visit.
The visit to Atlanta to see the Yellow Jackets went so well that James could not pick out just one part of his trip that went the best.
“It was great,” said James, one of the more soft-spoken and reserved recruits in the 2014 class. “There was too much great stuff to say which was best. They really like me and want me to be a part of their family.”
West Virginia’s coaches told James they are looking at him as mostly an outside pass rusher in the Mountaineers’ defensive scheme. His talk with the coaches was one of the highlights of his visit and time in Morgantown.
“The fans, the coaches and football facilities” impressed James the most, he said.
A decision will come at the end of July or beginning of August, and Gillespie is guessing it will come down to those three schools. When he talked with James last week to see if James wanted to respond to some of the coaches calling Gillespie about their interest, James passed.
“He visited both Georgia Tech and West Virginia and it’s hard to knock either place,” he said. “I don’t think he’s the type of kid that wants to gobble up as many offers and see a lot of schools. It’s just me speculating and going off the Davonte I think I know.”