Raekwon James has visited LSU and Ole Miss for games this season.
"At one LSU game I was with Dillon (Gordon)," James said of last year's teammate - now a true frosh TE with the Tigers. Coach (John) Chavis talked to me a lot."
James is on the short list of stellar 2014 in-state running backs. Even though he's only in the 5-8 to 5-9 range at 170 to 175 pounds, James has a longstanding reputation in the metro area as a top-notch back.
He does like LSU.
"I'm going to make a lot of camps next summer," said James, who is waiting on his first offer.
He didn't attend any camps during the summer but many juniors wait until the next year in order to make the biggest impact when they perform with months of training under their belt.
In the season opener, Curtis trailed 5A St. Paul's 7-6 at the half on the road in Covington. After the break, the Patriots seized control with James going for a total of three TDs and 74 yards rushing on only seven carries (10.57 ypc).
St. Paul's had a 30-game regular season win streak snapped by Curtis.
James also got into the scoring act in week two's highly-anticipated Tampa Plant/Curtis showdown of nationally-ranked squads at the Superdome.
"We hit Plant hefore they knew it was coming," James said of the Patriots' surge to a comfortable 27-0 halftime advantage.
Curtis went on to prevail, 33-3, and it could have easily been a couple touchdowns worse.
For their efforts, James and the Patriots have rocketed up this network's national rankings from a debut of No. 25 to the current No. 3 spot (behind Bradenton Manatee from Florida and Santa Margarita Catholic of California).
James gets the chance to compete against another of the state's best backs in two weeks when Curtis clashes with the Carver Rams and Ole Miss commit Eugene Brazley (Carver also has Alabama commit Raheem Falkins at WR).
The Curtis RB stable is large and carries are apportioned to numerous running backs (and quarterbacks since the Patriots often run the veer triple option). James shares touches with seniors Sherman Badie and Tevin Horton, junior George Moreira and sophomore Myles Washington, and that's merely the regular RB rotation.
James visited Ole Miss last weekend with teammates Duke Riley, Malachi Dupre and Terrence Alexander.
"I didn't know what to expect," James said. "Ole Miss has a very nice campus; they have a nice stadium. They treat you great like family. Coach (Grant) Heard introduced himself and shook hands.
"It's a great atmosphere. Ole Miss is a nice area with great people and the team kept fighting against Texas."
James talked more about the decisive and all-important victory over Plant, which was the 2011 Class 8A state champ in Florida.
The Curtis staff is well-known for its emphasis on special teams, and senior Tulane commit Richard Allen (DB) returned two punts for 80 yards with one going for a 42-yard TD.
"We were prepared to hit it with Richie on the punt return," said James, who ripped off some nice return yardage himself last year (two for five yards in 2012).
"By the end of the season, I think my tape will show schools they should offer," he said.
James is also a standout starting guard on the John Curtis hoops team, which won its first boys state title last season. The Patriots are going for their 25th football state title in 2012. It's the school's 50-year anniversary.
NOTE: Stats are through three games and don't include last night's game.