Dontel James looks to get healthy

ONTARIO, Calif. -- For Dontel James (Ontario, Calif./Colony), taking it easy has proven to be extremely difficult.

The 6-foot, 205-pound athlete underwent surgery in February for an ACL injury, but the senior pushed back as fast as possible to be ready for the season-opener last Friday. James only received a handful of carries, but said on Monday that his return might have come too quickly.

“I feel like this game I came back too early,” James said. “I want to take it slowly, because I want to be fully back for league.”

James said there is a real possibility that he could sit out this week’s game as he continues to recover strength in his leg. But missing time won’t be easy for him.

“It just feels like everybody has been passing me up,” James said of dealing with the injury. “It’s like having to build everything from scratch. But I still have the drive. I’m determined to get back.”

James received an early offer from Arizona, but Fresno State recently came into the picture and that’s an offer that intrigues James.

“They sent me a letter saying I could get tickets to their home games, so I’m planning on doing that,” James said of the Bulldogs. “When they offered, I started checking them out.”

UCLA, as well as much of the Pac-12, was monitoring James before the knee injury. Now, James said many of those programs want to wait to see how he recovers from the injury as well as the time away. At this point, he is in no rush to move through the recruiting process. His full attention is geared toward getting back on the field.