If James Langford III’s football recruiting videos don’t make you want to get up off your computer right now and achieve all of your dreams, you will at least head out for a jog.
Like any National Football League hopeful, the 25-year-old Richmond native says he created the videos for the main purpose of showing pro teams he has both the passion and drive to make it at the highest level.
But his passion for success is so evident in these well-shot videos, Langford is not only attracting the attention of agents and coaches but really anyone looking for a source of motivation.
“You’re not the first person to call me out of the blue about this,” Langford quipped after we called Monday. “I just come up with stuff that I know people can use.”
Raised in the Pullman Point Apartments, an affordable housing complex in Richmond, Langford is well aware of the lack of opportunities afforded to low-income families. But he firmly believes opportunities are earned as much as given.
A graduate of Hercules High in 2008, Langford’s skills as both a football player and as a marketer of his athletic abilities have led to two college degrees and the opportunity to play football around the country as well as professionally in Serbia.
After high school, he played two years at Delta College in Stockton, where he earned an Associates Degree in early childhood development. Despite a nearly career-ending surgery, Langford “hustled, prayed and overcame” and played two more years of college football: at the University of Tennessee at Martin, and at Shaw University in North Carolina. He graduated from Shaw with a Bachelor of Sciences in Business Administration and Management, and also as an All-American kick-returner and starting running back.
After college, Langford took a chance on a professional career and landed with the Kragujevac Wild Boars in Serbia. Although that experience led to an offer to play in Poland, Langford said he wants to focus on leagues closer to home, such as the NFL, Canadian Football League or Arena Football League.
Meanwhile, he says he hopes his videos send a message to young people that a kid from Richmond was paid to travel the world and play football — simply because he would not let people tell him he couldn’t.
“My main message is you have to invest in yourself,” he said. “The money I spend to go to tryouts, shoot the videos, eat healthy, that all costs. You truly have to invest in yourself. You can’t focus on the things you can’t control. I can’t control if someone doesn’t sign me or doesn’t know my video. But I can control working to reach that level and making a video people will notice. You have to market yourself. I’m a firm believer that somebody is always watching.”
Of course, there is some luck involved. Langford, for example, says he’s lucky to have been high school classmates with Devin Penix, who is quite handy with a video camera.