Notre Dame Football: RB Jamel James Commits to the Irish
Anytime a team receives a verbal commitment from a recruit, the question becomes, who's next to commit?
After Notre Dame landed Alex Anzalone earlier this month, the thought was that perhaps a running back would be that guy. The Irish had missed out on both Ty Isaac and Ryan Green, and were in need of another backfield player in the class of 2013.
Khalfani Muhammad from Sherman Oaks, California was the most likely candidate, but Saturday brought a bit of a surprise, as former Arkansas commit Jamel James from Katy, Texas, just outside of Houston, pledged to Notre Dame.
James becomes the team's 18th commitment in the 2013 class.
At 5'11" and 220 pounds, James is a big body who should be able to withstand the week-in, week-out pounding a Notre Dame running back takes against a typically difficult Irish schedule. At Cinco Ranch High School in Katy, James plays in a spread offense with a number of zone read plays in the offensive system, making him a logical fit for Brian Kelly's offense.
that it wasn't until after his decommitment from Arkansas following the firing of head coach Bobby Petrino that Notre Dame appeared on his radar.
"I realized I was only excited about it because of who was the head coach," said James. "I wasn’t committed to the school or the academics. When I started looking at schools again that’s when I first started thinking about Notre Dame."
James had verbally committed to the Razorbacks last fall, but had said Houston (insert Deontay Greenberry reference here) was his leader during the spring. James also held offers from notable powers Florida State, LSU and West Virginia.
While Notre Dame did not necessarily feel obligated to take a running back in this class after signing two last season and adding USC transfer Amir Carlisle, with the number of signees expected to reach a relatively high number of 22 or 23, it seemed certain that the Irish would end up with at least one.
With help still needed at wide receiver and in the secondary, James could be the only running back in the class. However, Muhammad is a much smaller back and would give Notre Dame two very different types of backs with which to work.
Despite coming a bit out of left field, James fills a need position for Notre Dame at a good time, with fall practice beginning a week from Saturday. It also gives the Irish a rare commitment from Texas, a state in which the program has had little recruiting success in recent years.
So now, who's next?
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