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Four-star RB James Simon commits to Texas

On3 imageby:Justin Wells05/29/24

Shreveport (La.) Calvary Baptist running back James Simon decided to join Texas’ Class of 2025 today after he verbally committed to the Longhorns. He joins Tyler (Texas) Chapel Hill four-star Rickey Stewart in this year’s class.

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The 5-foot-11, 190-pound four-star chose the Longhorns over Notre Dame, Alabama, and LSU. Simon has one official visit scheduled and it’s to Austin. Plus, playing football runs in the family.

His dad, John Simon, played at Louisiana Tech, and his older brother, John Simon Jr., recently signed with Louisiana Tech’s Class of 2024. Now James is set to forge his own path.

Simon is ranked as the No. 167 overall prospect, the No. 9 running back, and the No. 4 player in Louisiana according to the On3 Industry Ranking. On3 ranks Simon as the No. 115 overall prospect, the No. 8 running back, and the No. 4 player in Louisiana.

Evaluation on Simon from the Recruiting Notebook
How he fits at Texas:

James Simon was in an interesting high school offense that emphasizes the old throwback run scheme known as the draw. The draw relies on a running back possessing great initial burst and lateral agility because he receives the ball at a standstill and has to pick a way through the interior. Simon is particularly great as a prospect in that realm, executing jump cuts and using his wiggle and burst to find creases between the tackles. He’d definitely translate with time into a zone running scheme but he’d fit as well as Jonathon Brooks did in gap schemes where he can threaten to bounce runs outside or jump cut and dart through interior gaps. – Ian Boyd

Coach Says:

Strengths — Height and weight are adequate from the start. Well-proportioned, muscular build with long-ish arms. As shuttle times suggest, change of direction is great with suddenness to his stop/start. Acceleration is very good. Doesn’t bleed speed with change of direction. Balanced out of his stance with sure first step. Shows great vision, even in traffic. Presses the gap aggressively. Shows good natural strength in the upper and lower body that is out of proportion to his size. Gives as good as he gets with contact and will run defenders over just as willingly as he’ll juke them. Contact balance is a plus. I see him as an effective between the tackles runner. Very productive runner who can contribute as a receiver. Self-reported vertical and shuttle are impressive, suggesting good lower body explosiveness. Hands look pretty natural in limited receiving film. 

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Areas for improvement — Speed appears functional, but game tape doesn’t really reflect reported long track speed. Forty time suggests he’s not going to win a lot of straight-line races against defenders. Pass-blocking is not represented. Will get impatient and overrun the blocking at times. 

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