Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This entry is about the latest with Under Armour All-American LB Shemar James out of Alabama.
Shemar James has probably gotten the hopes up of many a DawgNation reader over the last two weeks. James backed off a pledge to play for Dan Mullen’s Gators earlier this month.
The Faith Academy (Mobile, Ala.) senior’s reasons for that are about as mature as we’ve ever printed from a recruit.
“I would say I chose UF because of the relationship I had with coach [Christian Robinson] and the entire coaching staff,” James said to DawgNation. “I backed off because a relationship isn’t going to get me to the next level. I felt as if I needed to be developed at the highest level.”
Enter Alabama. Enter Georgia. There’s an emphasis that remains which he says will now shape his final college decision.
“Development,” he said. “I don’t really care about the starting as a freshman phase. I want to be developed into the best player I can be and Lord willing make it to the league.
Alabama was in his final two when he committed to the Gators back in June. The Bulldogs are now one of the two teams that led him to rethink that pledge.
This is wildly ironic given that James visited Georgia for the first time for the Kentucky game on Nov. 16.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound athlete ranks as the nation’s No. 8 LB and the No. 70 overall recruit on the 247Sports Composite ratings.
James is a true athlete. He can long snap and even toss that pigskin a good 50 yards. He had gobs of plays on early highlight reels catching passes at receiver and devastating defenders with pancake blocks.
The biggest ace that Georgia has here is inside linebackers coach Glenn Schumann. While both schools view James as a “WILL” or a weak-side LB, he hopes he will be able to show he can make plays at OLB as well.
Schumann’s top-tier reputation is shining here. That “Schu” resume now includes NFL names like Tae Crowder, Natrez Patrick, Monty Rice and the unforgettable Roquan Smith.
Those are the alums. There is also the play of current Georgia luminaries like Nakobe Dean, Channing Tindall and Quay Walker for James to consider there.
“I know Coach Schumann has developed a lot of guys,” James said. “He’s not going to put you on the field until he thinks you are ready. I trust him.”
That sets the table for what he describes as a “very tough” decision ahead.
“I can’t go wrong with this decision, to be honest,” James said. “Both are excellent programs. Produce great linebackers. Great coaches. They are very similar. Coach [Kirby] Smart was at Alabama. I believe coach Schu was there as well and the coaching styles are similar. Yes, [Alabama assistant] coach [Sal] Sunseri is an excellent recruiter. He’s been recruiting me hard since the day they offered me. We also have a great relationship.”
4-star Shemar James is an Under Armour All-American recruit who recently decommitted from Florida. (Twitter)
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Shemar James: Let’s address the obvious question
We’ve seen many a recent post on social media declaring the hope that Kirby Smart will dispatch Florida in Jacksonville and then really pour it on.
The thoughts expressed are that UGA will soon add the commitments of James and Julian Humphrey to the tally of the nation’s top-rated team and recruiting class. Humphrey, who just decommitted from UF, is another highly-regarded top 100 overall prospect in his own right.
The Georgia people do feel Smart can be that kind of diabolical in recruiting.
If that happened, that would mean that UGA quickly added the pledges of two of their biggest rival’s three previously highest-rated commitments to their board.
There’s no such thing as never recruiting, but we deem that to be unlikely. That’s coming straight for James himself.
He made it seem pretty clear that he needs to go check out Georgia at least one more time. That will be on an official visit. He also needs to see Alabama again, too.
As it stands right now, he’s taken three trips to Tuscaloosa. That Kentucky trip remains his only trip to see UGA thus far.
It makes sense here to rattle off a few more key pieces of Intel regarding James and this recruitment. We will do so in the manner befitting of how well James covers ground on a gameday:
- There have been reports swirling about that James will take an official visit to UGA for the Missouri game. That is no longer accurate. He’s now working on another date.
- James feels he will need to visit both schools again before he can make his final college decision. That could change. Things like that often do with recruits. But as of now, the very mature perspective that James shared on several foundational recruiting principles leads this reporter to take him at his word on that.
- He could make his decision silently over the next few weeks, but as of now, the plan is to release that choice on Early Signing Day in December.
- Faith Academy does not allow its students to graduate in December. James will not be a mid-year enrollee at either Alabama or Georgia. He plans to major in physical therapy at one of those fine institutions.
- He’s from Alabama but did not grow up a fan of the Crimson Tide or the Auburn Tigers.
This should be seen as another example of a strong senior year evaluation by the Georgia staff. James has become a clear priority for the 2022 class in Athens.
His HUDL highlight reel follows below. His prospect page lists him with a 4.49 time in the 40-yard dash and a vertical jump of almost 38 inches. He’s also credited with an 11.4 time in the 100 meters and a squat of 520 pounds.
That does fit the recent profile of the hyperathletic linebackers in Schumann’s room.
His recent visit to Georgia was brought on by some consistently strong recruiting from Schumann and Smart.
The Bulldogs then got him to take a key unofficial visit for the Kentucky game.
“It really showed me how great the UGA defense was,” James said. “Especially those big guys in the trenches.”
James said on Wednesday evening he currently has no remaining questions about the Georgia program at this time.
Georgia was in the top eight that Shemar James released earlier this year on his social media accounts. (Twitter)
Getting to know the person: The real Intel on Shemar James
James strives to play professionally so he can one day elevate the lifestyle of his mother Alisa Orange.
“My mom is my why,” James told DawgNation. “Just her being a single mother taking care of a young adult is hard. I want to make sure he is good even before myself.”
He said academics will play a role here in this decision. But this is not an example of a player who grinds in the game because he is good at it.
Or an athlete that would really rather be playing baseball or basketball.
“I love football,” he said. “I know this is the only thing I’m good at. Football will also allow me to provide for my Mom later on down the road.”
James goes to a Christian school in South Alabama. He placed the term “Christ Follower” atop his Twitter bio, but he also walks that walk.
He will pray on the goal post at his team’s home end zone before his Rams take the field every Friday night.
This is a unique young person to get to know. Not just because of the incredibly-mature way he has broken down his recruiting.
While his pregame hype song is the recent rap release “Knife Talk” from Drake and 21 Savage, his favorite song is from another genre altogether.
That would be “Buy Dirt” by Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan. That song speaks to the wisdom of finding life’s true meaning rather than chasing a dollar.
That would be Jordan Davis the country music singer and songwriter there. Not the Heisman Trophy candidate in the teeth of the Georgia defense.
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Shemar James poses on the field at Faith Academy with his mother Alisa Orange. (Courtesy photo)
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