Q&A with Washington State Commit Nathaniel James

Stephen Dumeyer | Reporter

Q: What made Washington State so appealing?

A: One of the main components that made it really appealing was that it is a small compact town; the hospitality of the people that lived there, not even those that work with the school. The [small town] down there is number one and number two is that the coaches and the players and the interaction is just great. From an academic standpoint, there’s a lot of avenues and different types of whys to excel after college.

Q: What will you miss most about Indiana?

A: Definitely my family. My family has played a big part and my coaches. Coach Bless and his wife have done so much for me.

Q: What other colleges were you considering?

A: Prior to taking my official visit to Washington State, I didn’t have any intentions on committing, but after the second day it just hit me. As far as other colleges I was considering, Toledo and IU were the other two that I was going to go to or at least heavily consider. But things changed and [Washington State] is the best place for me.

Q: What caused you to commit so early?

A: I’m going to be an early enrollee, so I’m graduating high school early as a mid-year grad. I know that’s still kind of early, but the early signing period is in November. It also gets pretty stressful trying to pick the right school to spend your career at and after [committing] it just hit me.

Q: What are you going to do with the time you’re saving by graduating early?

A: The whole purpose of me graduating early is to get to campus early is to get with the team and get used to college.

Q: Did you always want to go to a Pac-12 School or did Washington State simply stand out?

A: Personally, I never knew anything about Washington State prior to them offering me. Once they offered me, I really started to look into it. Going out there was the best visit I’ve been on it and it was nice being out there.

Q: What role do you see yourself filling at Washington State as a freshman?

A: I want to come in and start and excel academically. The slot is open for me my freshman year so having that opportunity to play with the seniors is nice.

Q: The Washington State defense often moves around on the D-line. Do you see yourself doing that?

A: I’m an all-purpose kind of defensive linemen, so I really fit in well to their defensive line scheme. I like what they do and we do a similar thing here with our slants and twists. When you have shorter, stronger, more aggressive defensive linemen it just works well.

Q: Who played the biggest role in your decision?

A: Definitely my family. If you want to get specific, I would definitely say my coach, Coach Bless, he played a big part. Also, my siblings, my older brothers who have been through the process.

Q: The coaching staff is always a big part of the decision. What made the staff stand out?

A: I’d see Coach Leach on YouTube and he seemed like a great guy, but [after] meeting him person [I could tell] he’s an outstanding coach, has a great demeanor, and I think what plays a big part in your college decision is your position coach and the strength coach. You’re going to spend a majority of your time with them and it was really nice to meet with the head coach, Coach Leach.

Q: How much did Sampson’s decision to commit to IU affect your decision?

A: I get that question a lot, his decision didn’t really have an effect on me. At the end of the day that’s my brother and I love him to death and I want to see what best for him, so him being a Hoosier didn’t have an effect on me.

Q: What are your goals for senior year on the Avon Football team?

A: Well the first thing is to win a state championship, every year that’s always a goal. I just want to excel, pertaining to football, improve my footwork and my hands, block recognition and other technical stuff that will help me have an advantage in college. I want to be a better leader to the freshman and the sophomores who haven’t spent a lot of time on varsity.


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