Long Beach (Miss.) High School opened spring drills recently and started early preparations for the 2011 campaign. However, Long Beach junior Nick James noted he was taking care of business in another crucial area to help ensure his future at the next level.
"We started spring ball not long ago," said the highly-touted 6-foot-5 and 330-pound defensive tackle. "But I am not playing in the spring game so I can get my extra credits in the class room out of the way. I may be able to practice a little bit and I am still lifting weights and running. I just have to take care of my academics first and it's all good."
It is also "all good" for James on the recruiting scene with his numerous SEC offers and other BCS offers. He currently holds offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, LSU, Auburn, Florida, Arkansas, Miami, Southern Miss and Louisville. Recently, he took an unofficial visit to a nearby SEC program.
"I went to watch one of LSU's spring scrimmages and that has been the only trip I've taken," said James. "It was a pretty good visit and I enjoyed my visit and it was very nice. They really help out their players, academic-wise, and they obviously have a pretty strong program."
Later this spring and summer, James said he hopes to take a few more visits.
"I want to go check out Auburn and I might do that soon," said James. "I also want to see both of the Florida schools and it all depends on transportation. I am still interested in the in-state schools, too, and seeing them. I am going to talk to my dad about going to see Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
"I have family (2011 MSU signee Dee Arrington) going to Mississippi State and then my high school principal played baseball at Ole Miss. So I want to check out both of those schools, I hope, this summer."
While some reports have James favoring the LSU Tigers, he noted that every school that has offered is currently on equal standing.
"I don't have a leader and I am looking at everybody the same," James said. "When the season comes around, that is when I will start thinking hard about recruiting and I will likely have my decision done during my senior year.
"I am just looking at these football programs with a lot of things in mind. I want to see how they will look in the future if I go there. I want to see how the campuses are and how the teachers work with you and little things like that. Getting a good education is very important to me, too."