Massillon (Ohio) Washington defensive end Antonio James is preparing to play in the big school state semi-finals this weekend. The Fighting Illini commitment hasn't had to deal with recruiting pressure all season since he selected Ron Zook's squad in late June.
Or has he?
"Michigan State, West Virginia, and Penn State were still recruiting me," James said. "But it's calmed down a lot. I told them I'm 100% Illinois."
The 6-foot-5 and 245 pound James has 54 tackles including 11 sacks as Washington has won 12 of 13 games heading into Saturday's showdown with undefeated Lakewood St. Edwards. James has 20 quarterback pressures and 10 batted down passes.
James made his college decision after seeing the Illini program first hand.
"When I went there for camp I liked everything," he said. "I liked the coaching staff. Coach Zook is a good coach. The academics are great. They have everything I need."