"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
At Sound Mind, Sound Body Media Day today, I had the opportunity for a quick conversation with LB Commit James Ross.
James (in the video above): I'm James Ross, I committed to the University of Michigan. I committed there because that's the right fit for me, the perfect defense with Coach Greg Mattison, and I like what they're doing with the program.
Tim: You were one of Michigan's first 2012 commits. Is it exciting for you to see a bunch of talented recruits join the class since then?
James: It's actually very exciting to see all these great talents coming to Michigan. All of my close friends are coming, this is a real good experience to see all of this.
Tim: Is it exciting to see some of the guys you've known for a long time like Terry and Royce?
James [far right, with Shane Morris and Richardson]: Yeah, it's actually pretty fun to see all that. All of us played little league together and playing in college together, it just... it was the dream from the beginning, and now to see it's happening, it's really exciting.
Tim: I know St. Mary's doesn't really have winter graduation, so I'm guessing you won't be early-enrolling, right?
James: Well, my school really doesn't allow it, so yeah.
Tim: St. Mary's has made it to the State Championship Game and not quite finished it a couple of times in recent years. What is it going to take for you guys to take the next step?
James: Well, it's been troubling me for some time now. But I think once we get in that situation again, we've just gotta go practice way harder, and just take everything way more seriously. It seems like when we got there, it's like we're happy to be there, and we're not ready to play the game. So once we get there, we gotta take it more seriously.
TIm: You've been committed for a while, has that given you a chance to put your recruiting hat on a bit?
James: I've been recruiting a lot of guys. We were down at The Opening [Nike's pre-season combine], and that's all me and Terry were doing, was recruiting. But, we were at the Big House Barbecue, and Big PeeWee [MO DT Ondre Pipkins], the big D-Tackle, that's all I was in his head the whole time. I got his number, I'm texting him, on Facebook with him. I just need some big tackles in front of me, that's all.
Thanks again to James for taking some time to talk to me. Interviews with Shane Morris and Terry Richardson coming up next week.
I hope that's a nickname Pipkins gave himself because I don't know if anyone else would be safe calling him that. Ross seems like a really great young man. Thanks for the update and for getting the site back on track this afternoon.
Honestly, I think it's a very good sign that he's recruiting other players and that Biggs and RJS are here. I don't see him leaving his two best friends and a class that he helped build. Plus, having him, Standifer, and Reeves/Wright at CB would be amazing.
“True loyalty is that quality of service that grows under adversity and expands in defeat. Any street urchin can shout applause in victory, but it takes character to stand fast in defeat. One is noise — the other, loyalty.”
Bonus tidbit for those who read comments, since I forgot to include it in the main post:
I was pretty surprised at how tall James is. With reports saying he's as short as 5-11, he was at least an inch or two taller than me (I'm 6-0), so the knocks on his height may be overstating the issue quite a bit.
Same with Terry, by the way. People are saying he's as short as 5-7 or 5-8, but he's a solid 5-10.
I happen to live close to Orchard Lk. St Marys and was thinking of taking in the game when they take on Shane Morris's DeLa Salle team at home. I drove where they play other day and it's a tiny stadium very few seats. Anyone know if they sell out.