April 9, 2013

James impressed by Spartans

One of the players that Michigan State is looking to add to the class of 2014 is running back Chris James of Notre Dame School for Boys in Niles, Illinois. The 5-foot-9, 198-pound prospect recently received an offer from Michigan State and SpartanMag.com has the latest details on his recruitment.

Michigan State University has a proud tradition of having outstanding running backs. Under current Head Coach Mark Dantonio, the Spartans have produced All-Americans Javon Ringer and Le'Veon Bell. The staff is looking to add some talent to the roster this year and James is one of the players they have identified as a plan-A prospect. SpartanMag.com spoke with him about his recent scholarship from Michigan State.

"It means a lot getting an offer from Michigan State," James stated. They have had some great running backs the past couple of years and just for them to think that I can be part of the next great wave of backs there means a lot. The coaches said they like my ability to take it to the house and how I run with authority."

Running with authority helped James rush for over 2000-yards as a junior and find the end-zone 29 times. His scholarship from Michigan State joins a solid list of offers which includes Pittsburg, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and Arizona State. James is presently rated a 3-star recruit by rivals.com and the #53 running back in the nation for the class of 2014.

One thing that James liked specifically about Michigan State University was how the athletic and academic facilities are laid out and connected. Michigan State is one of only a few schools where the player dorms, practice facilities, stadium, weight room and academic support system are all in one area. He spoke about that aspect and potentially coming back up to East Lansing.

"I loved all the facilities there, but the Skandalris Center really stood out to me," James said. "I plan on visiting Michigan State again real soon."

While the Spartans made a strong impression on James, he did state that at this point in time he is not in a hurry to make his college decision.

"Right now I am just enjoying the process. I think I will probably take my official visits and learn more about the schools. I am looking for a school with a great atmosphere and some place I will feel comfortable."

With the departure of Coach Dan Roushar to the New Orleans Saints, James is now being recruited by Recruiting Coordinator Brad Salem. Coach Salem served as the running backs coach at Michigan State the last 2 seasons and helped tutor Le'Veon Bell. Coach Salem certainly knows what it takes for a player to be a successful running back at the highest level of college football. He will be stopping in James' school during the evaluation period.

The Spartans will likely take two running backs in the class of 2014. The early departure of Bell to the NFL along the graduation of Larry Caper has left the position a little bit thinner than the staff would like. Adding two running backs to the class would not only bolster the talent level, but the depth numbers as well. Based on the players offered, the staff is looking for a bigger bruising back as well as one with breakaway speed. Coach Dantonio would like nothing better than to get back to a situation where he has a "lightning and thunder" combination like he had with Jehuu Caulcrick and Javon Ringer.

SpartanMag.com will continue to keep in contact with James in the coming weeks. Though at this point he does not seem close to making a decision, that could always change. Scholarship spots are often at a premium and as quarterback Chris Durkin of Ohio just showed, if you want your spot you may not want to wait too long.

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