Former Charleston Southern cornerback Charles James has been named the Defensive MVP of the inaugural Raycom All-Star Game, played on Saturday at The Cramton Bowl.
James' Stars team lost 31-3, but that didn't stop the Bucs' career interception leader form turning in an award-winning effort. James' week –long effort won over NFL scouts, who voted on the award. He had two pass break-ups and two tackles, along with a number of highlight-reel hits for the Stars' defense.
James had no idea he had won the award until he was pulled away during the postgame festivities.
"I just feel blessed," James said on Saturday night. "I just wanted to make as many plays as I could and play as hard as I could. I was signing an autograph for a little kid when they came and pulled me away for the MVP presentation. I was told it was voted on by the NFL scouts and media. Its cool to play against guys from Michigan (Roy Roundtree, WR) and Purdue (Robert Marve, QB), but to come out and win this award, I feel honored.
James did everything he could to make an impression during the week, but he knew he had to stay focused on the basics to have success.
"During the week of practice, I went up against a lot of good receivers. I just tried to play as hard as I could and use the best technique I could. It really has been a blessing to be out there."
James' Stars team struggled as Missouri Western's Michael Hill ran for two touchdowns to give the Stripes team all the offense they needed.
Hill gained 148 yards on 12 carries Saturday, capping off an impressive season that saw him rush for 2,168 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Griffons.
Purdue quarterback Robert Marve also shined for the Stripes squad, completing 10-of-13 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown.
Pittsburgh's Tino Sunseri played for the Stars team and threw for 105 yards with two interceptions.
LSU's Drew Alleman kicked a 21-yard field goal in the first quarter and the Stripes went up 10-0 on Hill's 2-yard touchdown. North Carolina's Casey Barth connected on a 30-yard field goal to put the Stars on the board before halftime.
Virginia's Perry Jones scored on a run from nine yards out and Saint Augustine's Tyron Laughinghouse caught a 13-yard TD pass to make it 24-3 in the third quarter.
Hill reached the end zone again in the fourth quarter.
James, who graduated in December, will now prepare for potential invites to additional all-star games, as well as Pro Day opportunities later in the spring.