if university of maryland football teach mike locksley hasn’t heard about brandon james, he’s going to soon. james would possibly even knock on lockley’s office door and introduce himself.
nearly a month ago, james was granted a complete scholarship to run track and discipline at maryland. the coronavirus pandemic and a hamstring injury forced him to overlook his final years of eligibility at morgan kingdom, but the terps made him a suggestion, along side nebraska and louisville, while he entered the ncaa switch portal.
james never played excessive college soccer, however he’s extremely athletic. he can walk into almost any basketball health club, ruin some ankles and pump in about 20 factors. at new town excessive school in owings generators, he played factor shield for the basketball crew and averaged almost six goals as a lacrosse midfielder earlier than he focused entirely on indoor and out of doors song as a senior.
oh, and earlier than he gave up those other sports activities, he did play receiver for the football crew for a day or two until his song educate, jordan davis, cautioned him no longer to participate. but even after watching one exercise, assistant football coaches from maryland and morgan country were given him out of class to talk about playing for their programs.
“brandon turned into constantly a freak athlete who may want to play any sport he selected to play and excel,” said new town athletic director preston waters, a former beginning cornerback at west virginia. “he always had that sort of pace which transferred from game to recreation, which in the end gave him an advantage. with his iq, you simply needed to placed him in a role wherein he may want to be successful.
“we’ve all regarded human beings with instantly-in advance speed, but when you positioned them in pads, it’s like they’re strolling in quicksand. i think he will be one heck of a receiver.”
but let’s not jump so far in advance.
at new metropolis, he become the state indoor champion inside the 300 and 500 meters and received kingdom out of doors titles inside the 2 hundred and 400. he has a personal first-rate of 10.5 seconds within the one hundred, 21.1 seconds inside the two hundred and 47.eight seconds within the four hundred. the pandemic and a prolonged hamstring/knee harm shortened his career at morgan, which ended saturday at graduation with a bachelor of science diploma in advertising, but maryland will permit him to earn any other degree in psychology.
in line with james, 22, it was simply time to depart morgan.
“the head teach and that i had been having some differences, and maryland, as it’s a larger college with extra facilities and sources, could permit extra possibilities,” he said. “formerly, i in no way truly notion i had a threat to fully heal myself, but now i’m jogging, lifting and sprinting with none troubles or soreness.
“while maryland first began recruiting me, they got here a bit soft due to the fact i was type of an at-danger athlete. however i went to the ncaa local championships while i was a freshman [at morgan], in order that they recognise i will do it.”
but it wasn’t always approximately times and distances. terps assistant song instruct garfield ellenwood loved james’ attitude.
“he had run a few proper instances out of excessive faculty, and that i felt like there has been extra inside the tank in which he could truly improve,” ellenwood stated. “as soon as i had a verbal exchange with him, i truely preferred him. he had a self assurance about him which you search for in sprinters. i saw quite a few myself in him, knew this was my form of athlete.”
it’s referred to as being cocky.
a few might name it confidence, but james goes over the road. but that’s a part of what of what makes him successful. at the same time as gambling lacrosse at new metropolis, james never came off the field. he changed into part of a dying breed in the sport, a two-way midfielder who played both offense and defense. the handiest time he rested changed into while he was moved to attack.
“i simply were given uninterested in it,” james stated when requested why he stopped playing lacrosse. “in lacrosse, you have to control your speed, you don’t should go full pace all of the time. i usually knew that i was rapid, however i didn’t recognize i was that rapid.”
ask james approximately his future dreams, and he spits them out with none hesitation.
“i want to move seasoned in song, visit the nfl, get a gold in the olympics, inside the 200-meter sprint,” he said. “when i pop out in 2024, it will likely be time for the next olympics, and i want to be equipped for it.”
ellenwood stated the 2024 olympics in paris are a possibility.
“along with his confidence and background, whatever is possible,” ellenwood stated. “i assume quite a few athletes, maybe now not the ‘a’ [degree] youngster, but that ‘b’ or ‘c’ kid, have that ‘a’ pressure and need to develop, then the olympics is a opportunity, so i will’t say he can’t be the next.”
james wasn’t always so goal-pushed, however recognizes his father, glenn, kept matters in perspective and motivated him. if his father hadn’t instilled the confidence, he wouldn’t have been capable of play multiple sports.
becoming so goal-oriented didn’t kick in till his senior yr, which is why james is going lower back to new city to talk to athletes approximately operating tough.
“i inform them the method, and you simply can’t be average,” he stated. “all of us desires to go to a division i university, however they don’t usually need to position within the time and work. there were instances whilst i could get lazy, but none of the scholarships and the accolades would have come if i had been no longer inclined to do the work, which i did in my senior year.
hard work is the smooth part now. discipline, that’s honestly not anything anymore.”
that subject is what james is hoping will get him to a seasoned song career, the olympics and the nfl. he said he lately posted a 38-inch vertical soar and a large leap of 11 feet, 1 inch with out schooling. in comparison, university soccer players spend months making ready for the nfl scouting integrate. as an example, ravens rookie cornerback damarion williams, a fourth-round draft select out of houston, had a 34.five-inch vertical jump and a wide bounce of 11-eight.
rookie walking lower back tyler badie, a sixth-round pick from missouri, recorded a vertical soar of 33.five and vast bounce of 12-1.
it’s exceedingly not going maryland’s music officials might ever allow james to play soccer as a receiver or a kick returner, however it wouldn’t be surprising if the 6-foot, one hundred sixty-pound james had some sort of nfl seasoned day, particularly if participates in the olympics.
“he has constantly been an athletic freak who can do anything he desired,” waters stated.