GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Running back Tony James (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville) is sure to be one of the most highly recruited backs to come out of Florida for the 2014 class.
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound athlete has already garnered offers from programs such as Florida, Ohio State, Utah and Miami, but a few schools are already standing out to the talented back.
"Florida is really standing out in my book," James said. "So is Utah and Ohio State."
James, who said he is being personally recruited by Florida head coach Will Muschamp, said he likes the way Florida plays and he likes how close he is to the Florida campus.
"I like the coaching style at Florida and it's close to home," James said. "I can basically hop in my car and drive there anytime I want. They are recruiting me as a running back, but I personally think I can play running back and play receiver. I can do a little bit of both."
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has always been known for recruiting fast players, and the Buckeyes have made an impression on the speedster.
"Urban Meyer is up there now," James said of the Buckeyes. "He's a speed guy, I'm a speed guy. The only thing I probably wouldn't like is the weather. I don't know too much about Ohio State, I just know that Urban Meyer went up there and he's a speed guy, and I love my speed."
With Utah, Ohio State and the hometown Florida Gators being three schools that stand out, it begs the questions, will distance be a factor in James decision?
"It kind of influences me," James said. "Being close to home means my family can come see me at any time. It's cheaper to them to come see me play. Florida is right in our backyard so there's no excuses for them not to see me play."
As for upcoming plans, James intends to see several schools this fall.
"I'm going to try to visit Ohio State this fall," James said. "I would say Florida, but I've already pretty much seen all they have to offer. I might go down to Miami for a game and if I get more offers I might go see some other schools."
James transferred to Gainesville High School from cross-town rival Buchholz this summer. Gainesville head coach James Thomson said there is one thing he has already noticed that separates James from everyone else.
"He is fast," Thomson said. "I've been around some fast kids, but he is fast. Now he's got a lot of stuff he needs to work on to become a good football player, but right now his speed is just unreal."
James said he will likely wait until his senior year before making a decision.