Charles James back in Lowcountry after first season as Giant

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- He's not playing in the Super Bowl, but one of the great local NFL stories of the year is Charleston Southern grad Charles James. He walked on at CSU, did not get drafted, and worked his way on to the New York Giants practice squad.

After half a season there, he was called up to the active roster. Now he's back in the Lowcountry for some rest and relaxation.

James was the only NFL player sitting in the BucDome student section over the weekend.{}

"This is the place I came from. I wanted to be around this atmosphere," he said.{}

There isn't a precedent set for CSU guys in the NFL, but James is setting a pretty good one .{}

"You want it so bad mentally and emotionally. You have hopes and dreams of playing on the field on Sundays," James said.{}

At first, he was just practicing among the best, but his work ethic quickly elevated him to playing with them. His first step onto the field was an emotional one.{}

"There were a lot of memories of what I went through, a lot of joy, knowing I was representing my family, city, school I came from," he said. "A lot of emotions running kickoff, which I was on, I just had to get it done for my team."

The small guy from the small school was far from starstruck, holding his own on the field.

"It was a big deal to be with the guys who have done this, like Justin Tuck, Antrelle Rolle, Charles Webster -- they brought me along as part of the group," James said.{}

Now he's one of them. He may not have gone to a big school like them, but he's still pretty proud of his CSU roots.

"I was telling guys in the locker room they might play better than those SEC schools," he said.

The thing about James is he's a dreamer with a firm grasp on reality. He dreamed of making it to the NFL, made it, and most importantly he knows what it will take to stay.{}

"I'm ready to go out and show what Kind of player I am," James said. "As a rookie, you try to grasp. I want to come into my own, be a better person. This offseason is big. I'll hit training even harder, summer harder, training camp big, and ready to come into my own and show I can be a player in this league for many years."{}

And he won't be too big to come back home to the BucDome.{}