At the end of his college season at Charleston Southern, Charles James the Jacksonville, Florida native was hoping to get a shot at the next level. He knew that if he was given a shot, he could climb his way through the depth chart and land a roster spot.
I was working with the Raycom All Star Game in Montgomery, Alabama and reached out to Charles to bring him on board to play corner back. I will never forget the excitement in his voice, when he accepted the invitation to come play. He was considered undersized by many media outlets, but James wasn’t told the same thing by NFL personnel. After a huge week of practice in Montgomery, calling out the guys in the D1 schools like Russell Shepard from LSU, and Zach Rogers of Tennessee, James earned respect of his teammates and others at the game.
I talked to several NFL scouts about James and they were saying whoever was the one to invite this kid, was smart, because he really came in and took off. James said he would not let anyone down for bringing him to the event, and he definitely lived up to the hype. After planting a wide receiver with a beautiful hit, lift and carry tackle causing an in-completion, he followed it up by jumping a route and batting the ball into his teammates hand creating a turnover. At the end of the game, James was unanimously voted Defensive MVP and took away a beautiful crystal football trophy.
It didn’t stop there, after training extremely hard at Tom Shaw in Orlando, Florida going up against guys like Tavon Austin daily, James was getting better and better. He became great friends with both Jarvis Jones and Tavon Austin during his stay. James was really starting to feel what it was like to live the dream that he has wanted since he was a child.
After watching his friends get selected in the first round of the draft, Charles patiently sat by his phone hoping for an opportunity. He knows what it is like to start from the bottom. Charles was a walk on at Charleston Southern, and as a Freshman during the off-season, he climbed 7 spots on the depth chart to start the first game of the season versus Tim Tebow and Florida. James finished the year with 12 tackles and 2 picks, one going for a touchdown.
He has been pretty exciting in camp as well as in the pre-season. He was praised early in the camp by Tom Coughlin when he jumped a Curtis Painter throw in practice and took it to the house. He has been getting love from the veteran’s as well. The other day Victor Cruz brought in a T-Shirt with the letters UFA on the front and put it in Charles locker. Charles was excited because both him and Cruz had similar paths to the NFL. Both were un-drafted free agents from small schools in the FCS, and both eventually landed on the Giants. This relationship could get stronger daily. Charles does not understand what the word quit means. I expect the small school corner to make this roster. I want to know though Giant fans, what do you think? Does CJ make this roster?Do you follow the NFL Draft? If so follow NFL Draft Diamonds on Twitter and Facebook for up to date NFL Draft News, NFL Draft Projections, and NFL Draft Rankings. Jesus is the only way to Salvation