{{ timeAgo('2020-05-17 08:09:14 -0500') }} football Edit

In-state 2022 RB Jordan James 'could imagine playing at Tennessee'

While Tennessee has loaded up on commitments for its 2021 class during the COVID-19 shutdown, the Vols are already prepping for future classes, holding a virtual visit day for underclassmen last week.

One of their top 2022 in-state targets did not participate, but Oakland (Tenn.) tailback Jordan James said he’s been in steady contact with Tennessee throughout the dead period.

“No one has kept in contact with me as much as Tennessee. No one,” James told Volquest.

“I just talked to Penn State’s coaches yesterday. I talked to Georgia’s running back’s coach (Dell McGee) last week, but really, it’s mostly Tennessee. Alabama, too. I like Tee Martin. Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt. I feel like we already have a strong relationship. Some coaches sugar coat things, but they keep it real with me. They’re honest, and I like that about them.”

James, a 5-10, 200-pound running back who played at Brentwood Academy in 2019, holds more than a dozen offers, with FSU, Penn State and UGA recently pulling the trigger. The Vols were the first Power 5 school to extend a scholarship back last February.

The in-state prospects has visited Tennessee several times since then, including taking in the win over Mississippi State last fall. He also attended a Junior Day in late January before recruiting visits were halted.

“That was a great game,” he said of the watching the win last season. “It’s a great fan base. They get a lot of support from not just the Knoxville area but all of Tennessee. I could imagine playing there on Saturdays. It’s a place I could see myself playing.”

James is slowly building a relationship with new tailbacks coach Jay Graham, but for now, he mostly maintains contact with Martin and Pruitt. He knows he’s a major priority in the 2022 class, and all the recent momentum during the pandemic — 14 commits since the recruiting moratorium — has him even more intrigued about the Vols.

“It put my attention on them to be honest,” James said. “Those guys see something in Tennessee that I want to see. They’re committing for a reason. I want to see what their reasons are.”

James described his playing style as “a complete back” who “can do everything.” Schools like his compact frame and combination of speed and vision. While James admitted he could see himself at Tennessee, he stopped short of naming a current leader in his recruitment. He has Michigan ties and noted that he’s still needs to see others schools before making a decision, including Georgia, FSU and Penn State.

“My family is going to take our time with it. I feel like I’m too young to be committing right now,” he said.

“I still have places I want to explore and places I want to visit.”