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Corona's James, Wright top recruits

Posted Saturday, July 04, 2009 by Press Enterprise
 

Corona's James, Wright top recruits

 

05:57 PM PDT on Thursday, July 2, 2009

 

By SHEMAR WOODS
The Press-Enterprise

 


Photo Gallery: Area's top college football prospects

National combines, planned visits to the most well-known college football stadiums around the country, and televised All-American games -- life couldn't be any better for Corona High's Jordon James and Demetrius Wright.

James, a cut-on-a-dime style running back, and Wright, a heavy-hitting defensive back, are approaching their decision-making season of high school, the last audition for college recruiters.

"Everyone is going to offer. Schools love their film," Panthers coach John Brandom said. "They're the kind of players that you just need to see three or four plays before you realize that you have to offer (a scholarship)."

According to recruiting Web site Rivals.com, James and Wright are two of the Inland area's top prospects among underclassmen, second only to Moreno Valley Rancho Verde defensive end Ronald Powell, who's ranked 12th nationally. James is 97th, Wright 102nd.

James and Wright could land at any of a dozen colleges next fall, perhaps even as teammates: The two are taking trips together to Florida (Sept. 19) and Arizona (Nov. 7).

"We've been together since freshman year, just supporting each other," said James, who said he also has scheduled official visits to Notre Dame and UCLA. "We do everything together -- win, lose ... everything."

The two have been pushing each other since 2005, when they were too raw to produce a highlight tape that screamed scholarship. Together they outlasted the sizzling summer days, physically preparing for the season's grind. The Corona High weight room, stamped with a blown-up scarlet-red Panthers helmet, is where they spend four days a week in the offseason.

"It's a real strong bond," Wright said of his spotter. "You have to trust them with your body. That's a lot of trust."

The effect of training together has manifested itself in a close relationship on and off the field.

James was the state's leading rusher with 1,132 yards and 10 touchdowns before a broken arm cut his junior season short by five games. Wright's load as a two-way player increased substantially, and a week later he sprinted for a 66-yard touchdown in the first quarter of a 48-21 victory over Riverside Poly.

The game was dedicated to James.

"My grandma was at the game and she called my mom to tell me that he scored a touchdown," James said. "I was happy. I was honored."

Wright rushed for 224 yards over the final five games, including 117 against Riverside King. But colleges covet the 6-foot-1 talent on defense.

"I would have more of an impact as a DB," said Wright, who picked off three passes, scooped three fumbles and totaled 52 tackles last season.

Both players earned spring invitations to a Nike scouting combine at Long Beach City College in April and another the following month, where they stood above all competition.

James' 4.40-second time in the 40-yard dash was the fastest at the Nike event, according to ESPN Rise magazine, and Wright placed second, nine-hundredths slower.

Later this month the teammates can further separate themselves from the pack in Orlando, Fla., where James and Wright will compete in the Gridirons Kings 7-on-7 passing tournament from July 23 to 25.

"They have done well enough in the camps so far that they will be in good shape," Brandom said.

James is scheduled to play in the 2010 Under Armour All-American game on Jan. 2, the date he has chosen to decide his football future. Wright is tentatively scheduled to appear in the U.S. Army All-American game a week later.

"I'm just enjoying the ride," James said.

Wright added: "When I'm running wind sprints, I imagine myself already there, in college, working out with the team."


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