Jamel James Decommits from Notre Dame: Where Do Fighting Irish Turn Next?

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIDecember 20, 2012

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have lost the commitment of 4-star running back Jamel James.

James is from Katy, Texas and checks in at 5'11'', 220 pounds, according to ESPN Recruiting Nation. The 247Sports Composite Rankings rank him as the No. 25 running back in the 2013 recruiting class, so he's undoubtedly a talented player.

Brian Perroni of 247Sports reports on the decommitment:

“He has de-committed from Notre Dame,” Cinco Ranch head coach Don Clayton said early Wednesday afternoon. “He just decided to look at some other places instead.”

Several schools have kept in contact with the Houston-area runner and three of them seem to have his eye at the moment.

“He’s looking at a few schools,” Clayton said. “Washington is one he’s looking at really closely. He’s also interested in Ole Miss and Arizona State, I know that. There might be others. He’s going to have to see who he wants to look at come January.

It's worth noting that Notre Dame got a gigantic commitment a few weeks ago from 5-star running back Greg Bryant, so losing James' commitment doesn't look as bad when considering the talent Bryant will bring to the Fighting Irish.

That said, depth at the running back position is crucial, so Kelly and his staff wouldn't be wasting any time if they decided to try to bring in another running back for 2013.

Their best option looks to be 4-star running back Tarean Folston out of Cocoa, Florida. Folston has Notre Dame and Oregon listed as his top two (247Sports), so the Fighting Irish have to be feeling pretty good about their chances of landing his commitment.

Folston is 5'9'', 185 pounds and runs a quick 4.40, according to 247Sports. Right now, he projects to be a good change-of-pace back, and at the very least, he can be a huge addition to Notre Dame's depth chart.

With James decommitting, this could be the perfect time for Notre Dame to make a serious push for Folston, so look for him to be a major focus for Fighting Irish recruiting now.

Other than that, running back isn't a huge need now that Bryant is on board, so Kelly and his staff can keep their attention elsewhere on the recruiting trail.

Sealing the deal with 5-star safety Max Redfield has to be a main priority—his top two (247Sports) consists of USC and Notre Dame—and  the same could be said with 4-star strong-side defensive end Alquadin Muhammad, who has Notre Dame as his No. 1 team, according to 247Sports.

Redfield would be a stellar addition to the secondary and another 5-star recruit for the Fighting Irish, and Muhammad has a great blend of size and speed (6'4'', 230 pounds, 4.65 40, according to 247Sports) that would lead one to believe that he can be very good at the college level.

Losing a talented player like James is never great news, but Notre Dame will be just fine in regards to recruiting. There are still elite recruits left on the board, and that's where the attention needs to turn from here on out.

There's no time to waste fretting over a lost commitment when you're trying to build an elite recruiting class.

Follow </a></em></strong></strong></strong></strong></em></strong></strong></em></strong></em></strong></strong></strong></strong></em></strong></strong></em></strong></em></strong></strong></strong></strong></em></strong></strong></em></strong></em></strong></strong></strong></strong></em></strong></strong></em></strong></em></strong></strong></strong></strong></em></strong></strong></em></strong></em></strong></strong></strong></strong></em></strong></strong></em></strong> <strong style=