LEANDER, Texas -- Rockdale (Texas) linebacker James David wasn't able to participate in the Texas 7on7 State Championship last week due to a knee injury, but he was out there supporting his teammates in their quest to take home the small-school title.
SB Nation Recruiting caught up with David to discuss his injury, his commitment to Baylor, and his academic progress.
As far as the knee injury goes, the 6'3, 225-pound prospect said that he didn't suffer any torn ligaments and didn't sound concerned about being ready for his senior season.
"Physically I'm feeling good," David said. "My injury is coming along. I should be back in two or three weeks to 100 percent, but other than that, nothing to worry about. I'm going to do what I can when fall camp starts, but I'll be ready for the first game."
David has been committed to Baylor since a wild stretch in May and June that saw the Bears pile commitment upon commitment. The hard-hitting linebacker said that there was a particular moment when Baylor really surfaced on his radar.
"I went to the Baylor-OU game a couple years ago when RGIII was playing and the fans were amazing," he said. "I like how Baylor does things and I wanted to see where I could fit in, find what opportunity was best for me and I liked the fit."
Part of the appeal was in helping a defense that has struggled in recent years elevate to a level more even with the prolific offense. David wanted to know he could be a part of that positive change.
"I wanted to see if I could make a change because Baylor's defense, they're known for giving up a bunch of touchdowns and a bunch of yards," he said in an honest assessment of past seasons. "I wanted to go in there and see if I could make a difference and make an impact at the linebacker position in their defense."
Despite instincts both in coverage and in sorting through traffic to find the ball-carrier, the humble David had to think for a moment to describe his best attributes as a linebacker, to describe how he could make that difference.
"I just always play hard and never take a play off. When other people mess up, I try to get them up and tell them not to put their head down and to go out and make a play," said the hard worker and team leader.
The skills for David have never been in question, but he does still have some work to do academically to qualify. He estimated his GPA at around 2.5 right now and said that he is currently enrolled in ACT prep in advance of a test this fall, indicating that he needs to raise his score about 10 points to put himself in a position to play with the Bears out of high school. If he doesn't get the necessary score this fall, he will have another opportunity in the spring.
If David does end up qualifying, with his combination of prototypical size and his aforementioned instincts, not to mention striking ability that is as good as any 2014 Texas linebacker, he'll continue a trend of Baylor securing defensive prospects with significant upside.
And serious defensive improvement may not be too far behind.