(Photo via Kamran James, twitter)
Billy Napier and the Florida Gators just keep merrily rolling right along on the recruiting trail, with Kamran James becoming the latest member of Florida’s summer wave of commits.
James, a consensus four-star defensive lineman prospect from Orlando’s Olympia High, has announced that he is committed to Florida. He chose the Gators primarily over archrival Georgia, as those were the two schools he had displayed the most interest in. Since late May, he took both an official visit and an unofficial visit to each school.
He also had dozens of additional offers from over 25 other FBS schools, including Alabama, LSU, Mississippi, Miami, Auburn, FSU, and West Virginia.
You can watch his highlight tape here.
First and foremost, any analysis of Kamran James has to begin with a synopsis of his natural athleticism. It’s simply elite. And perhaps above all else, it’s why he was so highly sought after.
In addition to his football resume, James also played a critical role on his high school basketball team. He was a dominant power forward, and helped Olympia launch a deep into the postseason as a junior. And that natural athleticism is on display early and often on his highlight tape.
James is a terror for offensive linemen to line up against because he’s got quick feet and hands that he can usually bully his way into the backfield. He’s built well to begin with- 6’6 1/2 and 265 lbs of muscle- and he makes the most out of it, often just slapping offensive linemen out of the way en route to blowing up the play. Between his physicality, his quickness, his strength, and the way he controls his body, the ceiling is through the roof.
The other side of that coin is that Kamran James does seem to be something of a project at the collegiate level. He’s such a ridiculously pure talent that he never really needed to master the mechanics of various pass-rush moves; his pass-rush moves work in high school because he is simply the superior athlete, an advantage that he won’t be able to carry with him into the SEC.
But though improving his technique is not something that can happen overnight, it’s ultimately something that has a good chance to happen in time for him to become a playmaker for the Gators. Having spent the last two years as the New York Giants’ defensive line coach, I feel confident that Sean Spencer can work with Kamran James on those techniques and make him a more all-around player.
The commitment of Kamran James adds yet another weapon to an already loaded defensive line class. Florida already had three consensus four-star defensive linemen committed before this weekend in TJ Searcy, Isaiah Nixon, and Gavin Hill, and now the Gators have doubled that number this weekend with the three-headed monster of Kelby Collins, Will Norman and James.
All in all, Florida now has twenty commits in its 2023 recruiting class, which is ranked in the top fifteen in every major ranking service and is now inching toward the top ten. Eighteen of those twenty commits are consensus four-star prospects.