Pitt gets running back recruit from Illinois
Pitt worked hard to recruit running back Chris James for its Class of 2014.
“They were relentless,” said James' grandmother, Audrey Davis, who helped raise him since he was 3 years old. “I've never seen anything like it. The mail tumbles out of the mailbox every day.”
Davis said Pitt coaches even sent her a Mother's Day card.
James, who played at Notre Dame for Boys in Niles, Ill., said he gave Pitt a verbal commitment Friday because of the relationship he built with the coaches.
“They were genuine with me throughout the process,” said James, who chose Pitt over Wisconsin, Michigan State and Tennessee.
James was ranked the 14th-best player — No. 3 running back — in Illinois by Rivals.com. The three-star recruit rushed for 1,734 yards and 20 touchdowns playing in the state's largest classification. He also caught 19 passes for 148 yards and another score.
The 5-foot-10, 208-pound James said he was impressed with the number of freshmen (12) who have played for the Panthers this season.
“No matter where you go, you have to compete for a spot,” he said. “If I can get myself ready, I feel I can compete for a spot (as a freshman).”
Notre Dame assistant coach Augie Genovesi said James was effective running inside and outside.
“He has speed and power. He is the real deal,” Genovesi said.
Genovesi said James, a three-star prospect, has a 40-yard dash time of 4.35 seconds and a 44-inch vertical jump, and he can bench press 350 pounds.
Pitt has 19 commits in next year's class. James joins three-star Qadree Ollison of Buffalo as the only running back prospects in the group.
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.