Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Getting to know: Vikings CB Kendall James

Posted by: Matt Vensel Updated: May 15, 2014 - 2:35 PM

Name: Kendall James

Position: CB

School: Maine


  • James was born and raised in New Jersey. He attended the Union County Academy for Information Technology in Scotch Plains. He was a three-sport athlete, playing point guard for the basketball team and also participating in track. James was a two-star recruit according to
  • James, who majored in business administration, was reportedly recruited by some Ivy League schools.
  • James recorded 147 tackles, eight interceptions in 25 pass breakups in 48 games at Maine. In 2013, he led a Black Bears secondary that allowed just 165.4 yards per game.
  • James was first-team All-CAA in 2013 and third-team in 2011. He was also named a second-team FCS All-American in 2013 by the Associated Press.
  • James is the 15th Black Bears player to ever be drafted by an NFL team.
  • James looked to former Packers safety Jerron McMillian, who is now with the Chiefs, for guidance during the pre-draft process. The two played together at Maine.

On his interactions with the Vikings before the draft

“It’s been a long process, but I think they called me a few times and I’m pretty sure I met with him either at the combine or the all-star game, but it was so busy that I just lost track.”

On what he brings to the Vikings secondary

“I can bring toughness to them and help on special teams and I’m just an all-around great cover corner. I think I can bring a lot to help this defense.”

On the competition for playing time in Minnesota

“Competition, it’s one word. I’m going to do the best I can to prove to the coaches that they made a good decision on me and for me to play and learn behind good corners and still compete as hard as everyone else did.”


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