James could have been another Moss

Updated: May 31, 2002, 12:32 PM ET
By Tom Lemming | ESPN.com
AKRON, Ohio, May 14 -- While driving through Ohio on this trip, I turned on my car radio and happened to tune in to the local ESPN Radio affiliate. The commentators were talking about how prep hoops phenom LeBron James -- whom, ironically, I'd just interviewed -- could well have been the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft if he had been eligible for it. Well, when James finally does take the court in the NBA, the football world will have lost a superstar.

I met with James for an hour at his high school (Akron's St. Vincent-St. Mary) and watched his gridiron highlight film. As a 6-8, 232-pound WR, he's a taller, slower version of Randy Moss, or you can think of him as a modern-day version of former Philadelphia Eagles great Harold Carmichael. If he were to concentrate on football, he'd be the No. 1 player in Ohio, the No. 1 WR nationally and one of America's top 10 prospects -- he's that talented. He has phenomenal hands, great leaping ability and really good speed (4.6) for a player his size. He caught more than 60 passes for some 1,200 yards and 16 TDs last season. He says he's 50-50 right now about whether to play his senior season of football.

His teammate Sian Cotton (6-4, 305), who also plays on the St. Vincent-St. Mary basketball team, is one of the nation's premier DT prospects and looks like he could play immediately as a freshman next season.