Jordan James made a name for himself last season as a freshman running back at Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy, helping the Eagles win their fourth consecutive state championship. But he never dreamed that his early production might lead to a scholarship offer from a major college program. The Class of 2022 running back said he received his first offer Friday from home-state school Tennessee, and “it was an honor” for him to land an early offer from an SEC team, “especially as my first offer."
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound James said he learned of the offer during a phone conversation with Tee Martin, the Vols' new wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator. “I wasn't expecting it at all. I was caught by surprise,” said James, who’s expected to be one of the top prospects from Tennessee in the 2022 class. “It was really shocking. I wasn’t expecting to get an offer as a freshman at all. I wasn’t even expecting it.”
James said Martin “was telling me he watched my film, and I had great speed, strength — all that stuff.” At least a few college coaches, James said, have “told me they like my speed and explosiveness.” While he has grown up in the Nashville area, he said he never has been to Tennessee's campus. But he said he's hoping to take his first look at the Vols in the near future. “I’m planning on visiting,” James said. “I’ll be there soon. I’m not sure when.” James said he hasn’t “really” looked into Tennessee’s program to this point, and he doesn’t know much about the Vols. But he said he knows “a lot of fans” who were excited to find out about his offer from Tennessee.
“I really pay attention to Vanderbilt more than Tennessee,” he said. Despite that, James said he “definitely” plans to give the Vols strong consideration “since it’s an SEC team.” He grew up liking an out-of-state school. “I’ve liked Michigan for a long time,” James said. “But I like UT a little bit. I have family in Michigan. That’s the reason for it.” But James said he’s not sure how he would view an offer from Michigan if he ends up being recruited by the Wolverines over the next few years. “I mean, it’d be kind of a big deal. But I don’t know,” he said.