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Minnesota Golden Gophers recruiting analysis: CB Craig James

The Minnesota Golden Gophers signed cornerback Craig James to their class of 2014.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers signed cornerback Craig James to their class of 2014.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

High School: Edwardsville

Hometown: Edwardsville, Ill.

Position: Cornerback

Height: 5-10

Weight: 180

My Assessment: He has good run support skills and a physical nature. He has good ball skills with the ability to beat the receivers to the ball. He has good hands and the ability to go get the ball at his highest point. He is a wrap-up tackler, but does not tackle too high.

Overview: Listed as a three-star recruit by ESPN, Rivals, Scout and 247Sports - ESPN ranked him as the No. 27 player in Illinois, while 247Sports had him at No. 32 - is the No. 48 defensive back in the nation according to ESPN and is No. 69 by 247Sports and No. 80 by Scout.

ESPN Analysis: Plays with very good strength as he can fight off receivers - speed is very good - ability to break away from defenders as a kick returner - sees and understands the game well - positions himself to make plays he is not responsible for - reacts to what he sees very quickly and confidently - way above average coverage skills - can move his feet, flip his hips and catch the ball - in man coverage he shows very good make-up speed but is usually disciplined enough to stay on top of the receiver - in zone coverage he gets his eyes back into the quarterback and once the ball is thrown displays a good ability to cover ground - solid run support player.

High School: Attends Edwardsville High School - helped lead his team to a 12-1 record as a senior, as the Tigers advanced to the Class 7A semifinals - named first team All-Southwestern Conference, 2013 St. Louis “All-American” Football Team and honorable mention All-State - made 28 tackles - picked off four passes and broke up three more - returned two punts and one kickoff for touchdowns - second-team all-state defensive back for Class 7A, first All-Southwestern Conference and first team All-St. Louis Metro as a junior - made 23 tackles, grabbed six interceptions and recovered two fumbles - scored three of his touchdowns on returns (two on kickoff returns and one an interception return) - team went 10-2 and advanced to the Class 7A quarterfinals - as a junior was a member of school’s 800-meter relay team, which won a state title with a time of 1:27.98.

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