It seems to many that high school football season is well under way.
For Fontana (Calif.) Summit running back Dontel James, his senior season has only just begun.
"I just transferred over here, so my first game with Summit was last weekend versus Fontana (Kaiser). It was a pretty good; I got four carries and a touchdown and got to run some people over," he said.
James, who was granted a hardship and therefore automatically eligible to see the field, can see a difference in his game from his junior season.
"I feel like I've improved a lot with my speed. I'm still a hard runner like I was last year, but my speed and my cuts are both better. I'm just improving on everything I already had: speed, strength, all of that stuff," he said.
The 6-foot, 215-pound back isn't letting the late start to his season affect him in any way; in fact, he's set some lofty personal goals.
"I'm trying get all-CIF and my goal is to rush for a thousand yards this season, even though I missed five games," he said.
James currently holds offers from Arizona and Fresno State and is looking forward to continuing to impress throughout the season.
"I spoke with Arizona a few months ago, but I've really been talking to Fresno State. I've mainly been talking with [running backs coach] Joe Wade and [receivers coach] Ron Antoine. They are a program I am interested in.
"I'm looking for a place with strong academics, making sure it's a good school for that. I want to go somewhere where I am treated right. I'm a hard worker. It'd be nice to play for running team, too. I love to run the ball," he said.
He continues to receive interest from the Pac-12, specifically naming Washington State, Arizona, and Arizona State, and looks forward to exploring his options.
"I just want to take my visits. I haven't really been out of the state, except to Arizona. I visited UCLA and USC, too. I should be going to their next home game versus Wyoming," he said.
For now, James is simply happy with the familiar feel of football season.
"Getting back on the field was great; it was really great. It was like a relief. I've been waiting so long and right when I got back in, I just did what I could do with the ball and I was just waiting for contact. When I first got the ball in my hands, I thought 'there is no way anyone is stopping me'," he laughed.