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Four-star RB James Simon commits to Texas

One of the nation's top running backs is off the board as four-star Louisiana blue-chipper James Simon has gone public with his decision.

Simon committed to Texas over Texas A&M, LSU, Alabama and Notre Dame after making a spree of spring visits to each of his finalists, including two trips back to Austin.

After originally toying with the idea of committing this summer, Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns started to ascend midway through the spring and by March, Simon's mind was made.

"I learned how much of a priority I am to them and I definitely learned what Texas can do for you, the connections that Austin brings, especially from a football aspect. Once I went down there and had those conversations with them, I saw the opportunities available on and off the field," Simon told Rivals. "I knew I had to take advantage of the great opportunities they have there in Austin. They had everything outside of football in life and as far as relationships and connections that they have and the opportunities around Austin."

"Texas is one of those powerhouse schools that's always competing for national championships or being top-five every year," he continued. "Being able to be a contributor to a squad with what they have going on intrigues me the most."

Leading the charge was running backs coach Tashard Choice, along with several Louisiana-based coaches on staff including Terry Joseph and GM Brandon Harris.

"From the get-go, Coach Choice was one of the first to call and offer me. He had the energy and the personality that you'd think was an act, but that's Coach Choice," he laughed. "Seeing him at spring ball, you know you have to work. He comes in at 7 a.m. yelling and screaming, with the same energy every day. He's definitely a person you can talk to about anything, and we talk about life and he's a great human being, and his production of running backs is outstanding for sure."

Head coach Steve Sarkisian's role cannot go understated either.

"Coach Sark is a great guy," Simon said. "Every time we've talked or texted, it wasn't just a regular text or something simple. He's real, he's so down to earth. He's a busy guy as a coach, but he always made time to have conversations with me, take time out of his day whenever to answer my texts or pick up a call."

"He made time to show me my importance toward him and how much he wanted me to be a part of his team, and he made sure to show that to my family as well."

Simon, who was born in the state of Texas, piled up 1,600 yards with 24 total touchdowns compounded by an MVP performance in the Ceasar's Superdome to lift Shreveport (La.) Calvary to an unbeaten state championship season.

His first visit after the title run was to The Forty Acres in January before returning a few months later for the Longhorns' spring game.

In that span, Texas started to separate from the pack with the blue-chipper from The Boot.

"They treated me just as important this spring as when they first recruited me. They never stopped and only continued to push how much they wanted me to join them and have a role in the offense," Simon detailed. "I knew it wasn't recruiting; it was true relationship building. I liked them a lot as a sophomore, so I knew I had to check them out, and the feeling I got from there was needed."

"I'm a priority for them," he asserted.