Edgerrin James' nephew Jeff James Jr., being chased by Miami

The University of Miami may not have a permanent head football coach, but that isn’t holding the Hurricanes back from extending an offer to a relative of a Miami legend.

As reported by the Orlando Sentinel, Jeff James Jr., the nephew of legendary running back Edgerrin James, was handed a scholarship offer by the Hurricanes. James Jr. is senior defensive back and wide receiver at Olympia High in Florida, but has largely flown under the radar of most top programs. Of course, there’s a good reason why: He didn’t play high school football before his senior season.

That’s right. Miami is chasing — and it sure sounds like it might land — a player who didn’t compete in his first three high school years. Despite his relative inexperience, he excelled on the field, grabbing nine interceptions and racking up more than 1,000 all purpose yards, not to mention five touchdowns.

“I surprised myself a lot. I knew I could be good, but I didn’t know I was going to be this good,” James told the Sentinel. “I’m a sleeper. I’m a late bloomer.”

James Jr. knows that he’s caught lightning in a bottle just in time. He told the Sentinel that he was a classic “problem child”, but insisted he has been straightened out in part by his uncle, who has played a significant role in his life.

“A short while after I broke my collar bone, I was like, ‘I gotta really do this. I gotta play football. It’s the only way out for me,’ ” James told the Sentinel. “My situation was good, but I was trying to make it better. I had to keep working and keep doing the right things. …

“He’s been to all of my games and he’s always keeping me on the right page, gives me good advice,” James Jr. said. “He just talks to me a lot and tells me I gotta get things right, like when I wasn’t doing things right. It helps knowing he’s been there before.”

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