Midwest City (Okla.) running back James Flanders, recently rated as a 3-star prospect by Rivals.com, has given a verbal commitment to the University of Tulsa, where his older brother John is a starting cornerback. The 5-foot-10 and 181-pounder was one of the state's leading rushers in Class 6A last season.
Flanders told TU assistant coaches of his decision this afternoon and then spoke with Head Coach Bill Blankenship this evening.
"I just committed," he said.
While Tulsa was the only college to extend an early scholarship offer, Flanders was also hearing steadily from coaches at Missouri, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State, Arizona, UCLA and Nebraska. He said he decided on TU for several reasons.
"The coaches build a good relationship with you," he said. "I know a lot about (Tulsa) because my oldest brother is there.
"It's a high-pace place to play, and they play other great Division I football teams. Tulsa likes to compete even though it is a private school. Their facilities are terrific too."
As a junior last season, Flanders blistered Class 6A defenses with 1,672 yards and 22 touchdowns on 254 carries. He also caught eight passes for an additional 75 yards and one score, leading the Bombers to a 10-1 record.
"My speed," he said when asked about his strengths as a running back. "I'm powerful and hard to take down."
Flanders is Tulsa's fifth commitment in the class of 2012, and the fourth with a 3-star rating. He is also the Golden Hurricane's first commitment on offense, and he credits TU assistant coach Jess Loepp as being his lead recruiter.