With University of Washington football fans pining for a big-name recruit to join Kalen DeBoer's program, Texas edge rusher Anthony James II did just that on Friday, committing to the Huskies during his official visit.
The current UW coaching staff couldn't interest Lincoln of Tacoma's elite pass rusher Jayden Wayne just down the road in what they're doing in Montlake, but it appears they found a suitable replacement, at least in terms of glossy reputation.
James is a much-heralded 4-star prospect who stands 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds and hails from football-rich Wylie East High in Wylie, Texas, a northeastern suburb of Dallas, and was once committed to Texas A&M.
He rates as a top 50 national recruit for the Class of 2023. He gives a considerable boost to DeBoer's recruiting efforts.
James becomes the UW's seventh commitment, third this week and second Texan. He joins running back Tybo Rogers, wide receivers Rashid Williams and Keith Reynolds, and linebacker Deven Bryant, all from California; cornerback Diesel Gordon, that fellow Texas commit, and edge rusher Jacob Lane from Washington.
DeBoer wasn't in Seattle more than two weeks when his fragmented staff at the time offered James, who was still pledged to Texas A&M. The player's commitment to the Aggies began to come unraveled after he met Courtney Morgan, who was at Michigan and is now the UW recruiting coordinator.
James committed to Texas A&M early last year, but he toured Michigan in December with his family, which appeared to be one of Morgan's last big moves in Ann Arbor — just being able to get him on campus.
From there, the Huskies and Morgan have continually tried to sell the touted recruit on the virtues of coming to Seattle and they made it happen, at least in terms of an oral commitment.
James, who originally lived in Flint, Michigan, previously ranked as the No. 47 overall recruit and as the No. 5 strong-side defensive end in the 2023 class by 247Sports.
He held other scholarship offers from a host of others including Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Virginia Tech.
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