Texas Has First Shot at 2010 Athlete Thanks to Barack Obama

West Orange-Stark’s James Haynes, the No. 22 overall player in Texas for 2010, has Junior Day invites from LSU, Texas A&M and Houston, but he’ll be skipping them thanks to, interestingly enough, President-elect Barack Obama, meaning that Texas has the first chance to bring in the 2010 athlete for a Junior Day visit. In addition, Haynes makes it very clear what will happen if he pulls in an offer from the Longhorns…

Recruiting for the prospects in the class of 2010 will get ramped up this month with many schools hosting Junior Day events as coaching staffs begin to build what they hope will be a successful recruiting class.

Some prospects will not be able to attend the events due to a variety of circumstances, but the event causing West Orange-Stark athlete James Haynes to be unavailable will probably be one that he will remember for the rest of his life.

Haynes will be skipping out on Junior Day invites to Houston, LSU and Texas A&M in order to head to Washington D.C. for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.

“It was something that was offered through school, but it cost $1,500 and I knew my parents couldn’t afford to send me,” said Haynes. “So I drew up a letter and sent around and raised the money to go.”

To make sure there wouldn’t be any violation issues, Haynes had his project cleared through the school and was able to get enough money to make the trip. In terms of recruiting, it’s not likely that Haynes will be affected by the missed Junior Days because his talent will have those same programs and many more clamoring for his services.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound standout, who stars at both defensive back and receiver for the Mustangs and Coach Dan Hooks, has had an offer from Texas Tech for quite some time and Haynes says that an up-and-coming Pac 10 school has recently sent an offer his way.

“I’ve been told that Stanford has offered, but I haven’t gotten it in the mail yet,” said Haynes. “(Coach Jim Harbaugh) came by the school about a week before Christmas break and they’ve been recruiting me pretty hard since then.”

Playing for one of the top Class 3A programs in the state, Haynes and his teammates have recently jumped into the offseason program and the speedster with sports a personal best time of 4.36 in the 40-yard dash says that the Mustangs hit the ground running this week.

“We started this week and lifted hard,” said Haynes. “We had a crazy workout. We really started offseason with a bang.”

In the midst of offseason training for his senior year of football, Haynes is also getting ready for baseball season and track, where he will compete this season in the 4×100 relay, the 4×200 relay, the long jump and the 200 meter dash.

Haynes took a break of offseason training and getting ready for spring sports this past weekend to travel to San Antonio to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Combine. Haynes, who had one of the best 40-times at the event with a laser-timed 4.53 on a slow track and looked good working out with the wide receivers, took away much more than just football X’s and O’s from the event.

“It was a good experience to see where I stand against the top athletes in the United States,” said Haynes. “It really put in perspective what I need to do to succeed at the next level. The seminars and everything there just let me know that if I stay on the right path good things will happen.”

Haynes says North Carolina and Texas are the two schools that are recruiting him the hardest out of the schools that haven’t offered him yet. Despite having not received a Junior Day invite as of yet, Haynes still has a very, very high interest in Texas.

“If they offered, I’d probably commit,” said Haynes. “A lot of it has to do with tradition. I want to go to a place where they know what they are doing and that they have proven something.”

Haynes also likes Texas for the academics as the Golden Triangle standout plans on majoring in sports medicine.

Haynes said that he was able to get his highlight tape to the Texas staff, who contacted him recently to let him know that they had received and were evaluating his tape.