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July 29, 2011He may not be rated the No. 1 prospect in the state, but Long Beach (Miss.) defensive tackle Nick James might be the biggest of Mississippi's top players. At 6-foot-5, 345-pounds, James is a monster on the defensive line and his size and talent earned him a spot on the Clarion Ledger Dandy Dozen list.
"It feels pretty good," James said. "Unique. I feel privileged to be on the team and I'm going to represent Mississippi to the fullest."
The three-star prospect has offers from all over the SEC, saying Wednesday that schools showing him the most interest include Miami, Alabama, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, LSU, Florida and Tennessee.
James has visited most of the those schools, but he has not been to Knoxville yet to visit the Volunteers, something he has said he plans to do this fall. Nor has he visited Oxford to see the Rebels, which he said also plans to do sometime during the 2011 football season.
At this point, James said no one in particular is standing out to him.
"No, I'm keeping everything neutral right now," he said.
In an effort to make a wise decision and keep his focus on his high school team, James said he will make a decision after his high school career is officially over.
"Right after the season I should know."
At the Dandy Dozen photo shoot, James was around the best players in the state, and he has certainly been involved in some of the discussions among those players about joining together to go to the same school and win a national championship for the state of Mississippi.
However, James said it is not a given he signs with an in-state school. He is not opposed to going elsewhere if it's the right fit.
"I've thought about both, and I can't decide, so everything's equal," James said.
As for those in-state schools, Ole Miss and MSU, James said both have great qualities and he hears from them regularly.
"[Defensive line] Coach [Terry] Price is a pretty good coach up there at Ole Miss, and at Mississippi State, Coach [Dan] Mullen is a pretty good, positive coach."
As for his recruitment, James said he has a bone to pick with Rivals.com. He believes he should be upgraded to a five-star and listed among the best defensive tackles in the country.
"No question," he said.
As he continues taking visits and making his decision, James he is looking for two main things in his college of choice: good academics and a winning football program.