WR Braylon James commits to Notre Dame

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(Photo: 247Sports)

In late January, the Notre Dame wide receivers coach Chansi Stuckey traveled to Del Valle High School where James played his junior season. The new Irish assistant spent time talking with the head coach Bobby Acosta which had completed its first season on the Austin-area program a few months prior.

Acosta was stunned by the complete package that James represents.

“I saw it for the first time, I was like ‘Wow!’ And then you get a chance to talk to him,” Acosta said in January. “He’s a four- or five-star athlete. But the term I use with him is he’s five-star character given his family.And academically, he has over 5.0 GPA.

“He’s tall, he’s physical, he’s fast. And his ball skills are some of the best I’ve seen. And he’s a student of the game,” Acosta said in January. “I think when you add it all up, you have a really high quality student-athlete. And that’s how I would call it. He’s a student-athlete to the max.

Not only staying on top of her schoolwork, but really excelling in class is something that is integral to her family dynamic. (James holds a 5.34 GPA).

But given the way the four-star recruit considers the recruiting process and carefully weighs his options, it’s clear his attitude toward academics isn’t forced.

“You hear it a lot and it’s a clichéd answer. But football will end one day. That’s what a lot of people are starting to say. And that’s the truth, you know what I mean? Football is going to end and that’s something I realized,” James said.

After seeing her sister’s volleyball career cut short due to injury, the strength of degrees available in each of the 42 programs on her list of offerings was carefully weighed.

“Just playing even in high school, I suffered injuries,” James said. “I’ve had really bad sprained ankles and stuff like that. And I’ve seen people I’m very close to whose football career… ended very early due to injury. So just playing the physical game like this you always need something to lean on.

“I happen to be smart. So why take my brain for granted? Why go to a school like Alabama or Oregon or something when you could go to those Stanfords or you could go to those Notre Dames? So, I’m just trying to maximize who I am as a person, and just trying to make sure I have a good future for my kids and my kids’ kids. So that’s definitely my goal. And that’s certainly why I’m proud of academics.

“It’s all instilled in my family. My mom always asks me to stay on top of my grades. And you really don’t realize that until you’re through this whole recruiting process. Growing up, that has always been a part of me. It’s just being as good in studies as I am on the football pitch. So that’s definitely where it starts.

In every recruiting class, there are plenty of four- and five-star receivers piling up offers from Florida, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Texas and USC. But only a select few also earn scholarship opportunities from Baylor, Cal, Duke, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Stanford.

James has all of the above.

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