How did JaWuan James spend his time in Knoxville this past weekend? Limping around with one ankle taped underneath his socks and shoes.
North Gwinnett’s much-sought-after offensive tackle sprained his ankle during last Friday’s win over Chattahoochee. Nonetheless, he made the trek up to Tennessee with his parents for his first official visit of the fall. As a result, he had an excellent view of the Vols’ 45-19 win over Georgia last Saturday. He was in their locker room after the game.
So James heard Kiffin say that Georgia was the most important game of all for Tennessee and that it would never lose as long as he was there.
“Yeah, I heard him say that,” said James, getting treatment on his ankle as he talked late Tuesday afternoon. “[Kiffin] was talking about how winning this game was big for them because Georgia has some of the best players in the South coming out every year. Florida does, too, but it’s a lot farther away. Georgia is only a few hours down the road. I thought a lot about that. It was an impressive win. They think it’s going to give them a boost.”
James wasn’t interested in rehashing all the details about the visit.
“It was pretty much the same as all of them,” he said. “It was good. All the coaches were very welcoming to me and my family. We just had a good time. It was a lot of fun.”
The most important news for all concerned was this: “Nah, I still haven’t made any commitments. They’re still up there with me; they’ve been up there. But I still haven’t made a decision.”
James, who visited Georgia unofficially the previous two weekends, was asked if the Bulldogs’ lackluster loss diminished his interest in them. “I still want to say they’re up there, too,” he said.
But James isn’t through looking around. The a 6-foo-6, 300-pound senior, who originally committed to Alabama last spring, plans to take his scheduled visit to UCLA this coming weekend.
“I’m looking forward to going there and talking to the coache and seeing what they’re all about,” said James, who will make the trip to Los Angeles with his teammate Justin Dickens.
As for the timeline on his decision, James said he’s hoping to be ready by the end of the season. He will be graduating from high school and enrolling in college in January.
“I’ll have a lot of paperwork to get done so early December would good,”
As for the ankle. “It’s fine,” he said. “I just messed it up a little bit. I’ve been wearing a boot and getting treatment but I’ve been practicing and I’ll play Friday.”
Then he’ll be back on the road.