The North Forsyth football program saw one of its players effectively kick off the county’s curent recruiting cycle, when rising junior receiver Nicky DalMolin committed to Duke on March 4. Back between the hashes, though, one of DalMolin’s teammates is taking a more deliberate approach to the recruiting process and is seeing offers from RBS programs start to pile up.
Raiders offensive lineman Jeremy James, a rising senior, also has an offer from Duke. Th Bule Devils were one of the early schools on him, months after tobacco road rival North Carolina State gave James his first offer before his junior season had started.
Many more schools have followed the Blue Devils, though — James has received offers from at least one school from every Power Five conference except the Pac-12.
Duke was the first school to offer James after the 2017 season, and three days after the Blue Devils, Memphis came in with an offer. Maryland followed on Jan. 16, then Appalachian State on Jan. 23, Nebraska on Jan. 29, West Virginia on Feb. 7 and Ole Miss on Feb. 9. Four others have come since then.
James isn’t putting a hard deadline on his recruiting process, though he said he hoped to decide at some point during the summer or before the 2018 season starts. He doesn’t have a frontrunner in mind at this point, though he mentioned Georgia — a school yet to extend an offer — as a program that he’s already admired.
There might be a favorite from the perspective of James’ parents, though: Both his mother and father went to Liberty University, and he mentioned that fact in his tweet from Feb. 12 announcing that the Flames had offered him.
“They wouldn’t push me to go there, but I know in the back of their heads, they would love for me to go there,” James said.
James’ size and strength — he’s listed at 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds — is apparent on film, and coaches have also complimented his ability to “bend,” or to get his body low enough to reach the pad level of oncoming defenders. He played guard as a sophomore and tackle as a junior for the Raiders, and he could line up as either position in college.
When North head coach Robert Craft talks with coaches, though, he points to one main data point: In his past two seasons with the Raiders, James has been on the field for every snap.
“His competitiveness and toughness is something that you can’t really see (on film),” Craft said. “And that’s what I think separates guys, is how much they really love the sport and how tough they are. He checks all those boxes.”