Notre Dame seemed to be leading the race to Braylon James when the 2023 Texas wide receiver arrived in South Bend for an unofficial visit last month.
By the time he left the Midwest, that lead seemed insurmountable and proved to be exactly that as he announced his commitment to the Irish on Monday at schools including Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, Georgia, Stanford and Oregon, among others.
“It’s a different place, man,” his father Glynn James told Irish Sports Daily. “It doesn’t have the glitz and glamor of all the other places, but it has substance and that’s what we care about, substance.”
James was looking for a program that could provide him with elite athletes and elite scholars.
“With Notre Dame, they have both,” Mr James said. “You have the ball and you have the education. We are important on the education side. This is the main factor.
“Everyone wants to win a national championship, but the main thing is to get a good education from it and at Notre Dame he can bring them both.”
First-year Irish receivers coach Chansi Stuckey had recruited James from Baylor and that familiarity certainly helped.
“When he got the job there, everything changed and it changed for the better too,” Mr James told ISD.
First-year head coach Marcus Freeman certainly made an impact.
“With Coach Freeman, we see the vision and all the other guys who are about to commit to it,” Mr. James said. “You just want to be part of something different, something changing. He wants to be part of this change.
“Coach Freeman is doing a hell of a job, man. Just what they do there with all the staff. They have NFL guys. It’s a blessing, man.
Another element that made the James family feel at home in South Bend was Notre Dame recruiting director Chad Bowden.
“This guy is going to make a big difference in this program as a scout,” Mr James said of Bowden. “He’s going to be the glue to get the kids there. He’s a really outgoing guy. I love Chad.
With his decision public, expect James to leave the recruitment process behind.
“We’re not going back and forth because that’s it,” her father said. “’You have made a decision.’ We are parents you say something, you stick to it. I doubt we got back and forth and disengages and all that, man. Have been sold.
“He just fell in love with it.”
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