Player to Step Up in 2015: Nick James


Oct 4, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive lineman Nick James (88) during the game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Davis Wade Stadium. The Bulldogs defeated the Aggies 48-31. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 Mississippi State football team has a monumental task ahead of it. 2014 saw the Bulldogs go to places the program had never gone before. Mississippi State saw the Bulldogs sit at the top of the rankings for 5 weeks straight. Much has been made of the experience lost from that historic team. Today we look at a player the Bulldogs will need to count on if Dan Mullen wants to keep this team going in the right direction.

Up until the 2015 class signed their National Letters of Intent, the 2012 class Dan Mullen signed was the highest rated in his career at Mississippi State. The 2012 class was ranked 22nd according to the Composite Index at 247 Sports. One of the Crown Jewels to that class was Nick James.

Nick James has had a difficult time finding traction at Mississippi State. There were discipline issues he went through as a freshman, and he was unable to play at all his second year due to injury. He was given an additional year of eligibility because of that. He had a sub par season in 2014, and some wonder if Nick James was still feeling the affects of those injuries.

2014 in Review

  • Solo Tackles: 4
  • Assisted Tackles: 7
  • Total Tackles: 11
  • Tackles for Loss: 0
  • Sacks: 0

Nick James has to be better than this in 2015, plain and simple. He very well could start next year, and they need the monstrous player that he is to play like a monster. Not only does Nick James need to do better, he needs to do significantly better.

What is needed in 2015

Nick James was created to wreak havoc on the interior of the portion of the opposing offensive lines. He hasn’t done that yet, but he should be healthy this year, so I expect him to break out and make a name for himself.

  • Solo Tackles: 10-20
  • Assisted Tackles: 10-20
  • Total Tackles: 20-40
  • Tackles for Loss: 10-15
  • Sacks: 5-8

This would be a rather large step forward for Nick James. Can he do it? I don’t know. Getting closer to 300 pounds instead of the 325 he is listed at would help. He showed that he can do this when he was at Long Beach, MS, so there isn’t any reason to assume James isn’t capable. He’ll be healthy in 2015 and won’t have any excuses. If he comes out and performs like a lamb instead of a lion, then people will start floating the bust word around when talking about Nick James. No one, especially James, wants to start hearing that.