N. Gwinnett lineman ‘fully committed’ to Tide

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

It was the first school he visited. Once Ja’Waun James got a taste of the University of Alabama, he wanted more. The 6-foot-6, 305-pound junior offensive tackle from North Gwinnett High decided Tuscaloosa was the place to be, and on Friday he announced his commitment to the Crimson Tide.

North Gwinnett offensive tackle JaWaun James said Alabama "got better and more comfortable" every time he visited the Tuscaloosa campus.

“It was a great experience for me, and every time I went back it got better and more comfortable,” James said Friday evening. “The people there are great. I was impressed with the people in general and the atmosphere. [Offensive line] Coach [Joe] Pendry has a lot of experience with the NFL and college and I feel he can bring the potential out of me.”

James, ranked the No. 10 offensive line prospect by scout.com, also considered Tennessee and Florida, but those two schools never appealed to him more than Alabama.

“I felt like I was sure, like I was 100 percent with it, and didn’t feel there was any reason to drag it out,” he said. “I’m fully committed to the program.”

North Gwinnett coach Bob Sphire praised James as “one of the top recruits in the nation because of the athleticism he possesses in conjunction with his size.”  Because of that, Sphire used James at left tackle, an important position in his team’s spread offense.

Alabama coach Nick Saban, who also got a commitment from James’ North Gwinnett teammate, Austin Shepherd, also played a big role in James’ decision.

“He’s a great coach with a winning tradition and also the school has a great winning tradition,” James said.

While James said he has “a pretty good relationship” with Shepherd, the fact that his teammate will also play for the Crimson Tide had little to do with his choice. “It’s an added plus,” he said.

One of the last high school games James expects to play will be the Under Armour All-Star Game in Orlando in January.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

62 comments Add your comment

Aaron

May 8th, 2009
2:56 pm

Welcome to Bama! ROLL TIDE!

Walter Lewis

May 8th, 2009
3:29 pm

Looks like playing twice a year in Atlanta has began to pay big dividens for the Tide. RTR Great pickup!

Scott

May 8th, 2009
3:51 pm

Another player that UGA doesn’t want?

James

May 8th, 2009
4:16 pm

Looks like Saban is going to have Bama stocked like UGA and UF in about one more year.

C V

May 8th, 2009
4:36 pm

I guess you forgot last year wooping in Atlanta

rayray

May 8th, 2009
4:51 pm

Welcome to BamaNation and Roll Tide!!!

NEXT #13

May 8th, 2009
5:13 pm

cv…THAT wasn’t a woopin’! That was one great team vs one pretty good team that lost to one helleva player in the end!! NOW what happen in athens,ga.,September,27 2008 NOW THAT WAS A WHOOPIN’!!!

NEXT #13

May 8th, 2009
5:14 pm

WELCOME TO T-TOWN J.J…..YOUR GONNA LOVE IT!!!

1+2

May 8th, 2009
5:21 pm

The Sugar Bowl was a whoopin as well. . . UTAH?!?!?!?!?!?!

walter lewis

May 8th, 2009
6:40 pm

We will be glad to add about 3 or 4 more Ga boys to the roster, if the Dawgs seem not to want them. The writing is on the wall for these kids. If you want to play for champioships take I- 20 west, not 78 east!!!!!

BamaDelta

May 8th, 2009
7:08 pm

Roll Tide! Great to get the Gwinnett boys out of Georgia. Love it. Welcome to the Tide.

SecIsFootball

May 8th, 2009
7:20 pm

1+2…..when you have nothing else, reference the Utah game! Nice work!

ROLL TIDE Juwaun and welcome to the Tide!!

Crimson Crush

May 8th, 2009
7:27 pm

Bama was a year early on where it should have been as far as depth and talent last year . Even so the Tide certainly made it further than all but two other teams in college football .

The loss of one offensive lineman and then his replacement 3 minutes into the Sugar Bowl did indeed give Bama haters their only shot at vicarious “joy” they would get last year . The entire line was shuffled and turned upside down IN GAME with some players coming in that had seen very little action previously . That won’t be the case in the years ahead thanks to the continued stream of premium talent from the state of Georgia and the rest of the continental United States .

Keep clinging to whatever few pathetic wins by proxy you can still cling to Tide haters . There isnt a knowledgeable (and intellectually honest ) football fan in the nation that doesn’t know what is brewing down in Tuscaloosa ;-)

#s 13 14 AND 15 coming soon

May 8th, 2009
7:35 pm

The Tide will be polishing more national championship trophies and all the haters will have left to polish is their knobs ….

elephant slayer

May 8th, 2009
7:51 pm

Crimson Crush you are so wrong. You loose one player three minutes in one game with Utah and want to cry? This caused your loss? What happened when you played the Gator Nation? You got stomped. Alabama was given more credit than they deserved last season and will have the same happen this year. You better get better recruits than this if you plan to compete with us!

STFU

May 8th, 2009
8:00 pm

Enter your comments here

Rising Tide

May 8th, 2009
8:22 pm

1+2 = 31-0 at the half. Now that “was a whoopin”. Welcome James. Roll Tide

elephant slayer

May 8th, 2009
8:33 pm

For all of you elephant fans, you have nothing to be so excited about! The Gators will destroy you again and WILL take the National Title. All of this talk about 13, 14 and 15 coming is pure ignorance on your part. Two National Championships in the past three years, now that is something that you can bank on. When is the last time the elephants won the SEC??? To many years to even care or worry about them being a threat. 2010 will see the Gators rule college football again! Three out of four National Champions!

Rising Tide

May 8th, 2009
8:34 pm

elephant slayer… This kid picked Bama over UF, GA, TN, USC and many more. As far as UF stomping Bama, I believe the score was 20-17 in favor of Alabama in the 4th quarter. Go back to sniffing Tebow’s panties.

CRIMSON RULES

May 8th, 2009
8:45 pm

e.s.,live in past if you must THE NEXT DOMINANT TEAM to represent THE S.E.C. IS COMING OUTTA TUSCALOOSA ALABAMA CHUMP!!!

elephant slayer

May 8th, 2009
8:46 pm

Wow, Bama Fans have fantasies about sniffing Tebows panties. This is disturbing bacause you had to fantasize about Tebow in panties. What is going on with Bama fans??? Florida 31, Bama 20 and another SEC Championship for the Gator Nation. Roll over the Tide Gators!!

elephant slayer

May 8th, 2009
9:29 pm

Wow, Bama fans have fantasies about sniffing Tebow’s panties. This is disturbing beacause you had to think about Tebow in panties. Gators 31, Elephants 20. Roll over the Tide Gator Nation! Rising Tide you are a sick puppy!

[...] Re: *** OT Ja’Wuan James Commits to Alabama *** N. Gwinnett lineman

secisfootball

May 8th, 2009
9:39 pm

elephant slayer….Stomped? Seems to me we led most of the game, had the lead going into the 4th quarter and Tebow had a hell of a 4th quarter to lead the team to a win. Not exactly what I would call stomped. I guess it is a stomping when you lose to Ole Miss on your own field.

elephant slayer

May 8th, 2009
10:00 pm

I have to hand it to the true football team in the weak Western Division of the SEC, Ole Miss. As a matter of fact the elephants barely made it past the Ole Miss team with a 24 to 20 win, by the hair off of your teath. Truthfully, we should have played Ole Miss in the SEC Championship game and would have had a much better team to win the title against. As I said, you MUST recruit better than this if plan to complete against the Gator Nation. National Champions two out of three times!

Sports Fan

May 8th, 2009
10:37 pm

Hey Crimson Crush. You are blaming the lost in the Sugar bowl on two players who couldn’t play. By your logic UGA really over achieved last year when you take into account they had 24 season-ending injuries.

Tiger

May 8th, 2009
10:42 pm

Hey Scott. Why does little saint nick sign so many unqualified players? Exciting to read about but the bottom line is they don’t get in.

Crimson Crush

May 8th, 2009
11:06 pm

“…. You are blaming the lost in the Sugar bowl on two players who couldn’t play…. ”

Wrong “sports fan” .. you and the so called “elephant slayer” . What I said was perfectly clear and well known to any knowledgeable fan that actually spent more time actually following the Tide than they do picking their toenails . Last year’s Tide was still very thin on depth . Period .

Last year’s team was ahead of the development curve that many Tide fans felt would occur before the season started . To some extent that was mitigated by the fact that the Tide had more true freshmen make meaningful contributions than any other team in the country . Admittedtly that crew of freshmen and underclassmen looked pretty good kicking off in Georgia’s azz but it is a fact that it was a team still painfully thin on quality backups in key areas . . That was a fact that was mitigated but not completely done away with .

Now we come to what actually I stated about that situation above … that won’t be a problem moving forward as Saban and company continue to bring in a flood of high caliber talent year after year to build a true quality depth chart . At the rate Saban is starting to look like it will easily run 4 deep in the years ahead . The fact Bama finished number 3 in the nation and lost to numbers one and two while still building that depth chart doesn’t bother me in the least .

Smoke what ever you have to smoke to convince yourself that won’t matter but a Tide program stocked with the kind of talent Saban is pulling in year after year will romp in ways that the Dawgs never have and never will . ;-)

Crimson Crush

May 8th, 2009
11:26 pm

“When is the last time the elephants won the SEC???”

Funny question from “elephant slayer” since he is supposedly a Gator fan . The last time Bama was at full strength was and won the SEC was the same year they stomped the Gators first in Gainesville , then in Atlanta and put “Superior” to looking at the NFL want ads .

Imagine that . The man who helped take Gator football from a homecoming patsy to a decent program in a little over one decade and “elephant slayer” can’t remember why he left Gainesville in the first place . Maybe Mr “slayer” wasn’t alive back when that happened so I’ll cut him some slack :-)

Even funnier though how easy it is to see that scenario playing out once again . I completely expect Meyer will begin talking about his “dream job” at Notre Dame a lot more once he gets a full dose of what is coming down the pike from a full strength Bama . The Jesus Steroid freak leaves right as Bama steps up to the plate and junior thinks it will continue to be business as usual for the Gators ? kids …. ;-)

Birdman

May 8th, 2009
11:38 pm

Who wants to live in Alabama? Enough said….take JJ, he will sit on the bench for four years before he fails out….have you seen his grades? Nice get. He’s played football for 3 years….BAMA people are idiots.

Chuck Uga

May 9th, 2009
2:36 am

For all you morons, this guy WAS recruited by UGA, but UGA was never in the pciture. It was LSU, UF, Bama and Lame Kiffin. He made a solid choice. Now just a reminder, there is nothing Saban or Kiffin or any of you haters can do to hurt UGA football. Richt has a line of players in Georgia and elsewhere (like Florida) a mile long who want to play for the Dawgs. Don’t worry, another Top 10 class will sign with UGA in February. Richt is 82-22. Bite on that!

Chuck Uga

May 9th, 2009
2:38 am

Crimson Rules, Bama is not going to dominate the SEC. If anyone will, it will be Florida until Miami and FSU start signing their fair share of Florida talent. They haven’t lately, that’s why UF is so loaded.

Jimmy in Gainesville

May 9th, 2009
5:47 am

Where is Georgia in all the comittments going on? It looks like it’s going to be a tough year in lots of ways. A lot of the recruits might not want to come to Georgia because of Willie Martinez. They know it will be tough to win when other teams can score 35+ points on your defense. Georgia has four comittments and none of them are really top notch signees. What’s really going on in Georgia recruiting?

Bamafan

May 9th, 2009
6:00 am

Great pickup for the crimson tide and yes Mark Richt can get anybody who wants to play for the Georgia bulldogs. I wish that tide fans and dawgs fans would stop having a pissing contest over a player. Auburn is Alabama’s biggest rival and 2nd or 3rd to the dawgs biggest rival so let the kitty cats
have the bs from crimson tide and bulldog fans!! GO BAMA AND DAWGS!!

elephant slayer

May 9th, 2009
7:12 am

Crimson Crush you are right, it was too long ago that the elephants actually won something. Lets talk about the present. The Gator Nation has consistantly whipped other teams more so than the elephants. I can understand why you would dream of beating a quality team such as ourselves, but like I said, you better get better players than this. Meyer has put together a program that the elephants wish they could match, and at the same time hope you better hope that Meyer does leave the Gator Nation since that will be your only chance of winning the SEC. By the way, you better stay focused on Ole Miss, they will beat the elephants this year to play us in the SEC Championship.

UGASlobberknocker

May 9th, 2009
7:55 am

You know guys, the Dawgs cant get everyone in Georgia. Plus some kids just want to get away. When they sign with the Dawgs..fantastic..when they go elsewhere..I wish them the best of luck in every game except against the Dawgs. I pull hard for all of the Ga kids..that is one of the things I look for in any college game..who is from Ga and how are they doing?

Lets keep all of the good old fashioned hatin’ to us fans and leave the kids out of it.

In The Trenches

May 9th, 2009
8:02 am

I had this one called several weeks back, with James team mate Shepperd going to Bama. This committment should open the door at the position as the so called top player at left tackle(up for debate by the way)is out of the picture. There is a pecking order in place with some of these lineman, and it is a position where schools like UGA are very particular in there evalution, not wanting to make a mistake. With limited roster spots at the position, look for UGA to offer and recieve committments in mid June shortly after their single day camp evaluations, at this position and others. Jimmy in Gainsville, I hope this helps.

CRIMSON RULES

May 9th, 2009
8:47 am

chuck uga,checkout this past recruiting rating’s and you’ll note that cum didn’t do so hot!!! On the other hand cns in his first year(with only one month to recruit) had a top #10 class followed by back to back #1’s! note also that,as stated in this blog,a undermanned BAMA team gave them gator’s all they wanted for 3 plus quarter’s!! As cns continue’s to stockpile talent he indeed enhance’s and ensure’s domination!!!

Dawgtime

May 9th, 2009
9:07 am

People, people, people….It is time to grow up. Some of you really need to get a life. Stop the G.E.D. prep program and return to the 9th grade. I know that being 27 in 9th grade is a bit awkward but it will benefit you. All this talking trash over a kid that has never played a down of college ball. That is so crazy. If this young man wants to attend Bama, it is his choice. He sounds like a fine young man, but it does not change the orbit of the earth. For some reason, the new blogers have this need to throw insults and say insane things in hopes of looking cool. The truth is that you look pathetic and stupid. If you need a gossip forum, leave the sports pages behind. If you have a need to air or vent your anger and issues, call a shrink. This isn’t the place. The fact is that Bama and the Dawgs will both get their share of great kids. Both schools are great schools. After Bama beat UGA last year, I really believed Bama was going all the way to the national title. The true fans of both schools don’t have a need to go talking trash. They enjoy their respective schools and don’t really care what other schools are doing. Hint: Try that. I am a true Dawg fan, but I was pulling for the Gators in the National Title game and Bama against Utah. Everyone should pull for your conference teams when they are not playing your respective team. It makes our conference even stronger. I would like to see the conference expand by two more teams. In the east, we should add Central Florida. Great talent in the area. Growing population. Program is emerging. In the west, we should add Louisville. Great sports’ programs. Both would really add to the conference. In terms of the kid, I hear he has great feet but a bit raw. That sounds like a lot of high school linemen. He will develop. Sounds like Bama got a good one. In terms of UGA losing this kid, how can you lose something you never had? That like saying you high school crush belonged to you. She may not have even known your name. Get over it. Go Dawgs.

dawes

May 9th, 2009
10:09 am

i sorry that you went to alabama thah mean you won.t win bcs title if you had to georgia bulldogs you would come closeer to bcs title

Steven MIckens

May 9th, 2009
12:24 pm

For all you guys throwing insults you better get your sources right JJ has passed the SAT with great scores and as far as his grades.. he doing really well in school… so be careful abut making those untrue comments. He is 16 and had a tough decision and I think he did a great job narrowing his choices down and looked at every factor. He will get a great college education.

Pago Flyer

May 9th, 2009
12:34 pm

You still have to play Tebow, the greatest college qb. He’ll get yet another Heisman and another #1 for FL.

Richard

May 9th, 2009
12:49 pm

Congrats bro… Wish you the best at Bama.. Sabaan is taking all the top prospects out of the state.. This isn’t a good sign.. It was nice when he was at LSU the Dawgs really didn’t have to worry about him recruiting our state.. Now he’s our neighbors.. the Dawg Nation is in a lot of trouble….I think we might have our Bear Bryant of our time in Sabaan.

Gator slayer

May 9th, 2009
1:09 pm

We welcome this young man and are glad to see he will be rolling with the tide. UGA can’t sign em all and losing a few of the state’s top recruits aint gonna hurt the dawgs. They’ll still get their fair share of talent.

Elephant slayer, You aint all that. We’ve beaten you 3 of the last 5 including 2 brutal stompings. A stomping is not 31-20 when you were losing in the 4th qtr. A stomping is more like 31-3 Bama and UF in 2005 or 34-7 Bama over UF the last time the 2 of us met in the sec title game.

Oh, I forgot to mention we own the alltime series against you also. So do the dawgs for that matter. Quit acting like you the big boy on the block. UF has been good for about 15 years and that’s it. For the other 100 years of your program’s pititful existence you were everyone’s Homecoming beatdown of a patsy. And now you think you’re all that. I don’t think so son.

kudzoo

May 9th, 2009
1:26 pm

Slayer, you asked when was the last time that BAMA won an SECC, well, it was in 1999 when Mike Dubose’s team mudholed Steve Spurrier’s team for the 2nd time that season. That was SECC #21, which is 13 more than you Johnny-come-lat.elys. Check back with us when you win another 10-12. Heck, just check back with us when you have as many conference championships as BAMA has NCs.

elephant slayer

May 9th, 2009
1:54 pm

It seems that you all are trying to justify your beloved programs failure to execute being the best in College football. You dream and have high aspirations to reach the level of excellence that the Gator Nation has obtained since coach Meyer has arrived. What you all fail to acknowledge is that the road to success is always going to be stopped by the Gator Nation. We may have a loss or two to Ole Miss or UGA, but, we still will meet the objective of winning the SEC and National Championships. You may consider this a “down” year in recruiting for our program but the beauty of coach Meyer is his ability to coach average players to perform far above the rest of the coaches in college football. When we get the blue chip players rolling in as we have the past few years, we are unstoppable! Go Gators!

James

May 9th, 2009
3:51 pm

If you’ve posted more than 5 times in one thread here, you may need a life. lol

elephant slayer

May 9th, 2009
5:13 pm

If you read the entire posting to know if someone has posted more than five times, you need a life.

STFU

May 9th, 2009
5:47 pm

Well KING OF NIT WIT’S a.k.a elephant slayer that appear’s to be YOU!! BTW….NOBODY STAY’S ON TOP FOREVER!!! Enjoy while you can!!

Crimson Crush

May 9th, 2009
7:08 pm

Look guys … elephant “slayer” has already told you he is too young to remember anything that happened 10 years ago . I can even give him a pass on 2005 since he was apparently 6 years old at that time going by his own frame of reference .

Frankly his petulant silliness is sort of funny . When I pointed out that I highly doubt Meyer would be staying much longer at UF he claims it is because everyone is so terrified of the “Cryer ” .

I dont seriously know many Tide fans “scared” of Meyer staying around . The nickname he was first pinned with in by many Tide fans in his very first season in the SEC was Urban “Cryer” . Why ? Because his first trip to Tuscaloosa even a Mike Shula led team seriously depleted by probation put a beating so severe on the Gators that Meyer broke down in the locker room at Bryant Denny bawling . Was funny … FUNNY stuff .

Both Coach Saban AND CUM have egos but the ego of Meyer is as weak as an eggshell . The man has NO fortitude to hang on if the going gets rough ( I’d certainly take Richt over Meyer two to one on that front . ) And while the so called “slayer” may be too young and inexperienced to recognize it … the going is about to get VERY tough indeed in the SEC .. The last interview Meyer gave where he continued to call Notre Dame his dream job is as recent as the gators last championship . He even went into detail to explain why he passed on going there the first time;.

A couple of gutshot losses to ruffle Golden Boy’s image and the Gator’s will find out just how quick Meyer ends up in South Bend before they have second thoughts on overpaying him .I can at least look forward to him staying at long enough at Florida for Bama to deliver those . Who knows … even the Dawgs might get in on the act before he jets ;-)