CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern football alum Charles James was announced to the active 52-man of the Alliance of American Football's Memphis Express on Wednesday afternoon. The former CSU great will wear #24 in the league's inaugural season scheduled to start on February 10, 2019.
James is one of nine defensive backs named to the roster after a five-year NFL career that spanned 2013-2017 and featured time with six different organizations.
James, a former preferred walk-on at Charleston Southern, is entering his fifth season in the National Football League in 2017. He has played in 43 games and started one across parts of three seasons on the active roster for the New York Giants, Houston Texans, and Indianapolis Colts.
James became a fan favorite on the HBO hit-series Hard Knocks with the Texans in 2015. He impressed head coach Bill O'Brien, other coaches, and teammates with his big personality and penchant for making big plays in practice. He tallied 37 tackles in 21 games from 2015-2016 with Houston, mostly on special teams and is his role as a nickel back.
James went undrafted in the 2013 NFL Draft but was signed as a free agent by the Giants shortly after and made the most of his opportunity. The Jacksonville, Florida native impressed throughout fall camp and preseason and earned a spot on the Giants' practice squad.
He was moved up to the Giants active roster on October 5 and became the first CSU player to compete in an NFL regular season game, doing so against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 6. James played mainly on special teams, making seven tackles and five solo stops. He had two tackles in a nationally televised Thursday night game at Chicago and added two more against the Redskins in December.
A three-time All-Big South Conference selection who holds the CSU record for career interceptions (12), James ranks among the best players in the 26-year history of Buccaneer Football. James burst onto the scene as a sophomore in 2010 when he secured six interceptions and earned Second Team All-American honors from the Associated Press.
James set the CSU record for interceptions in 2012 with a pick in a home win over Gardner-Webb, part of a campaign that saw the Bucs tie Villanova for the biggest single-season turnaround in FCS Football. James was named a Third Team All-American by Phil Steele Magazine following the year.
The Express will be coached by former NFL head coach Mike Singletary and open the season on February 10 at the Birmingham Iron.