Player Evaluation: Arkansas Commit Kaleb James

Arkansas Recruiting Update

The Arkansas Razorbacks were a surprising success in 2021 and head coach Sam Pittman is turning that success on the field into recruiting gold. The Razorbacks picked up a 2023 commitment this week when 3-star defensive lineman Kaleb James pledged to play his college football in Fayetteville.

By Steve Wright

James – a 6-foot-4, 250-pounder out of Mansfield (Mansfield, TX) High School – is rated by the 247Sports Player Composite as the No. 354 player in the class nationally. He is rated as the No. 51 defensive lineman in the class and as the No. 54 player in the state of Texas. James chose Arkansas over 20 plus other offers, including the likes of Oklahoma, Baylor, and Utah.

The video below shows highlights of James during his junior season and shows what he is all about as a player. James benches 300 pounds and squads 405 pounds, and his strength really comes through in the physical style in which he plays the game.

The first highlight shows James working from the defensive tackle position. On this play, he is simply too strong for an overmatched offensive lineman. That lineman is thrown to the ground as James heads towards – and ultimately sacks – the opposing quarterback. The second play might be even more impressive as James is initially double-teamed. He uses his hands really well to break off of the initial contact, before swinging around and knifing between two players who are supposed to be keying in on his threat.

The third play is also interesting as it sees James working from defensive end. Here he uses his quickness more than his strength, making an offensive tackle look complete immobile as he cut inside to sack the quarterback. One thing I love about James is his ability to see space in the offensive line, always moving to the point of least resistance before pinning back his ears and seeking out the quarterback.

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