Dec 19, 2012, 5:17 PM EST
The whispers have been out there for a few weeks, but today running back Jamel James confirmed he was no longer a part of the ’13 recruiting class. The departure of the 215-pound running back leaves five-star prospect Greg Bryant the only back currently in the class.
James’ status in the class had been up in the air for weeks, and always seemed a bit tenuous with James continually looking to take recruiting visits to other programs. Various reports have cited some academic hurdles that needed to be cleared, as James committed to Notre Dame before ever stepping foot on campus, and seemed like an outlier in a recruiting class filled with habitual visitors to campus.
With the Notre Dame recruiting class now sitting at 21 commitments, it gives the Irish a bit more flexibility as it tries to close out this group. At the running back position, Notre Dame has long been targeting Tarean Folston, a player that would work well in tandem with Bryant, who should capably replace James as the tough runner in this recruiting class.
James will look to take a few official visits, with Washington, Ole Miss and Arizona State on his immediate radar, according to 247Sports. James was originally committed to Arkansas before Bobby Petrino’s firing, only to know back away from his commitment to Notre Dame, a parting that seems mutual.