Coach Sarkisian has received his second Class of 2014 verbal commitment from Coeur D’Alene, Idaho (the other being tight-end Chase Blakley) with the news that Matt James, an offensive tackle, has chosen Washington. Before the news broke I hadn’t heard of James, and it turns out he is a bit of an irregular prospect, as far as how the scouting services rate him. Rivals has a page for him, but has not ranked him at all or assigned him any stars. Scout, on the other hand, considers him a solid 3-star prospect. ESPN? No stars.
At first glance, seeing a player commit that isn’t even ranked by multiple major recruiting services might not seem like something to jump up and down about. Seeing that James is also listed at 6’5″ and a very light 240 pounds might lead to the same kind of thinking. But James holds offers from Cal, Boise State, Arizona State, and Washington State. His lightish weight (Rivals has him at an improved 250) and the disparity in rankings, when coupled with such solid offers, almost certainly indicates that James is an up and coming prospect that has been under the radar as far as scouting services, but whose talent has not gone unnoticed by major conference football coaches.
It’s a good example of why judging a recruit solely by the number of stars bestowed upon him by Scout and Rivals is troublesome at best. This looks to be a solid pickup at one of the most important, and difficult to recruit, positions in the game.