The Gophers have received a commitment from Chicago offensive tackle Cameron James. He chose Minnesota over offers from Michigan State, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri and others.
The 6-foot-8, 280-pound offensive tackle is a four-star recruit, according to 24/7 Sports’ “Top 247” rankings. Within the composite rankings, he earned a three-star rating.
James is an offensive tackle with excellent length and athleticism. He has gained experience at both left (sophomore) and right tackle (junior) in high school. Within his film clips, James uses above average movement skills to his advantage. When he was asked to pull in space for runs or screens, he frequently hit the second and third levels. In Minnesota’s zone-blocking scheme, it is important to recruit offensive linemen with above average athletic traits. For example, the outside zone scheme is best executed when each player has the quickness to reach and rip defenders. As I discussed in my recent breakdown, outside zone is utilized to horizontally displace opponents. James certainly has the athleticism to pull and take excellent blocking angles. On tape, he also flashed his power and frequently finished blocks to the whistle.
Like many prospects his age, he is still learning the technical components of his position. While in Minnesota’s system, James will continue improving his stance, hand/hip technique, footwork and pass protection sets. I’m very curious to see where he’s at after spending a year in the strength program.
Overall, James is an excellent scheme fit and will have an opportunity to reach his full potential under offensive line coach Brian Callahan. If he can develop the technical aspects of his game, he has a very high ceiling.
You can watch his highlights below: