Under Brian Kelly, Notre Dame’s offense has shown good production on the ground when implementing power runners like Jonas Gray. If that trend continues, the Irish have the ideal load-back with the downhill strength needed to keep defenses honest versus the run which essentially opens up Kelly’s potent spread passing game.
Jamel James (Katy, Texas/Cinco Ranch) looks like a college back already. He is thickly-built, powerful and an extremely strong inside runner who makes his yards after first contact. It’s almost unfair at times to see the punishment on film this guy can dish out the high school level. While he can build up deceptively good top-end speed and has good feet in the hole for his size, lateral quickness and sudden cutback ability is lacking and he does not possess ideal traits of a zone running back in the spread. Still, this was a position that needed to be addressed in this class and James should be ready to contribute the moment he arrives in South Bend. He could eventually develop into a productive every-down runner for the Irish but we see his early impact being made as a changeup power-back.
Not a household name on the national level but ND has landed one of top inside runners in this class and a back Brian Kelly likely has a plan for.