"I was already leaning towards Air Force before I took my official visit," said James Rushing. "I had a late offer from Columbia come in last Tuesday, but I was sure where I wanted to go when I got out there (to Colorado Springs). I could see myself being successful at Air Force, and I felt at home all weekend.
"It's beautiful. There's 15,000 acres of just absolutely beautiful land, and I'll also have the opportunity to serve my country."
Rushing continued discussing the factors that led to his decision.
"The thing that really stood out was the coaching staff," he explained. "Almost all of the staff went to the Academy for college and came back to coach. My area recruiter was a starting running back at Air Force, and the head coach (Troy Calhoun) turned down jobs with both the (Houston) Texans and the Broncos to be there. That says so much about the program. The people who are there - want to be there.
"They're coming off a 9-4 season with a win over Georgia Tech in the Independence Bowl and with TCU leaving the conference, they have a good shot to win the (Mountain West) championship."
What else does Rushing like about Air Force?
"The education is valued at over $400,000 and you don't have to pay for a penny of it," he said. "Everything just added up; I felt like I belonged and it was obvious as to where I should go. They even run the same defense as my high school, and the defensive line coach played in the NFL."
Rushing should fit right in at Air Force, as he already embodies the teamwork-oriented mentality that's exhibited at the service academies.
"I can't tell you my stats for my senior year," he said. "They (coaches) didn't keep up with it and neither did I. You can just put down that my team made it to the state semifinals, because that was a pretty big deal for us. That's what I'd like to look back on..."
Rushing chose the Falcons over offers from UTEP, Wyoming, Harvard, and Columbia.