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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Chris James, TE, UT-Chattanooga

Chris James UT-Chattanooga
Chris James is a big and strong tight end for the UT-Chattanooga Mocs. He recently sat down with Jimmy Williams of NFL Draft Diamonds.
  • Name: Chris James
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 235 lbs
  • Position: TE
  • College: UT-Chattanooga
  • Twitter: @chrisryanjames

Chris James originally signed with Valdosta State out of high school where he redshirted in 2015. He came to Chattanooga as a QB from Hutchinson Community College (Kansas) and transitioned to a tight end/h-back role in 2019. Chris led the Mocs with 7 TD receptions in 2019

Tell us about your university/college. What was your major/minor? How is campus life?

I graduated December 2019 with a degree in Sports Management. I am currently pursuing another degree in Exercise Science. Campus is great, the people are friendly, there is always something going on, and with how beautiful campus is it makes the daily walks to class not so bad. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

I would say my determination and intense leadership. I try my best to hold everyone accountable and raise them to their full potential. 

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?

I feel I can do a variety of different things for any team. I’ve played quarterback until this past season, I can line up with my hand in the dirt, and I believe I’ve shown I can be in the slot or out wide and be effective. I think an “H-back” position would suit my abilities best. Somewhere I can line up in the back field, on the line of scrimmage, or at receiver. Being able to use me as a mismatch is something I can bring to the table. 

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

The best player I’ve played against is John Daka. He played DE for JMU. I played against him in my first couple of games at tight end and I hadn’t seen the speed and hands he had yet. Even playing against The University Tennessee. 

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?

Bryce Nunnelly. The guy is a true professional. He is dang near a 4.0 student and an All-American on the field. The way he comes to practice and approaches the game truly impresses me. 

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.

Going to junior college in Kansas and being 16 hours away from my family. Things didn’t go exactly my way while I was out there and staying focused and on track was the hardest struggle I had to overcome. 

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?

I would play baseball if I didn’t play football. I played my whole life and it was always my favorite sport until I got a little older.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?

Graduating college with a degree has been my proudest moment so far. 

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.

My first touchdown catch against James Madison. 

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?

When I played quarterback I loved Brett Farve and I wanted to play with that gunslinger mentality just like him. Since moving to Tight End, I have watched a lot of George Kittle film.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?

I always listen to Johnny Cash and Metallica on game day. Johnny Cash keeps me calm before pre game and Metallica gets me pumped up closer to game time. 

What is your favorite comfort food?

Mexican Food.

Do you have a favorite movie or actor?

The Program

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?

Hanging out with buddies and a little fishing.

Who or what motivates you the most?

My parents. They have sacrificed so much and have supported me through all the ups and downs. 

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