James, Causey represent Demopolis in Classic

Published 9:40 pm Friday, December 10, 2010

MOBILE — DaMarcus James wears a Demopolis helmet for the final time Saturday afternoon when he carries the Tiger banner for the Alabama team in Ladd-Peebles Stadium. James is the first Demopolis Tiger in five years to participate in teh Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.

“It’s been great down here,” he said of his week in Mobile. “I’ve been around a lot of great guys.”

James said he has made a lot of new friends among his Alabama teammates and has learned a little bit more about at least one player he once called an adversary.

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“He’s a great guy,” James said of Brent Calloway, the Russellville linebacker and University of Alabama commit who squared off against Demopolis in the 2009 Class 5A state title game. “He’s a funny guy. He’s cool to hang out with.”

James is set to start in the Alabama backfield along with Ameer Abdullah of Homewood High.

“He’s a very quick guy and I’m a powerful guy, so it should work out well,” James, who rushed for 6,949 yards in his high school career, said.

“Everybody talks about how good he’s doing,” Demopolis head coach Tom Causey said of what he has heard from other coaches regarding his stalwart back. “They are really impressed with him.”

Causey has not gotten to see much of James this week given that he has been charged with running the defense and coaching the front line for the Alabama team.

“It’s been a lot of fun to get back on that side of the ball and start scheming offenses again,” Causey said.

Causey, who has earned numerous accolades in his career, is enjoying his first experience as a coach in the Alabama-Mississippi game.

“It’s a tremendous honor to represent our state, our school, our city, our coaches and our players,” Causey said. “The good Lord has truly blessed me to be able to do something like this.”

As much as Causey has enjoyed the atmosphere, he said the game is serious business to the players and coaches.

“I think Alabama has won three in a row and we sure as heck don’t want to be the team that ends that streak,” Causey said.

The game is scheduled to kickoff at 1 p.m.