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Indian River star James talks ODU decision

by Jamaar Hawkins, i64sports

In a decision that came down to hometown ODU and Pittsburgh, Indian River standout Lamareon James picked the Monarchs during the Braves’ National Day Signing earlier this month.

“{ODU} is close to family, new coaches, great atmosphere and great academics,” James said of his decision to sign with the Monarchs.

Originally committed to the University of North Carolina before reopening his recruitment back in September, Old Dominion was not among the initial suitors for James, but the interest quickly swelled following an official visit in January. The visit also coincided with the hiring of new Monarchs head coach Ricky Rahne.

“I didn’t even know I was interested in going there until I took my official visit. The coaches were showing love and keeping it real with me,” James noted.

James, was a dynamic force during a high school career that included stops at Lake Taylor, Norfolk Christian and Indian River. As a senior James finished with more than 1,000 total yards and 10 touchdowns on offense. He added another two touchdowns and five interceptions on the defensive side of the ball.

An Old Dominion offense that had just one receiver surpass the 300-yard mark last season and averaged just 16.2 ppg in 2019, may want to keep a dynamic talent like James on the offensive side of the ball. Think Daz Newsome 2.0! According to James, the ODU coaching staff will start him off at defensive back, with special teams and slot receiver on the list of possibilities.

Despite growing up just miles from S.B. Ballard Stadium, the three-star recruit also doesn’t shy away from the pressure that could arise from competing in front of family and friends for the next 4-5 years.

“It’s no pressure at all. I’m used to the pressure. For other local recruits they’ll see that staying home and playing for your state/city is the best thing ever and you can make it from anywhere,” James added.

With his decision 100% solid James is ready to offer advice for high school prospects who will be navigating through the recruitment process in the future.

“Remember school is first. If you don’t perform good in school you will not be playing any football,” he added.

Old Dominion will open the 2020 regular season on Friday, September 4 vs Wake Forest. The contest will mark the first time in program history ODU has opened a football season on a Friday night. It will also mark the first Power 5 opponent for the Monarchs to open a regular season.

-Jamaar Hawkins