Younger brother of former United midfielder Matty, Reece performed impressively in an outing for the Under-18 Academy side at the end of the 2011/2012 season.
The defender produced an accomplished display at left-back in a 2-1 win against Stoke City and was rewarded with a full-time contract and a place in Warren Joyce's Under-21 squad.
Although used sparingly at the start of the term, he worked his way into the team with his hard work on the training ground. With Frederic Veseli and Tyler Blackett picking up injuries, he became a regular towards the end of the campaign and helped the side win the Barclays Under-21 Premier League title with the 3-2 success against Tottenham at Old Trafford.
Unfazed by his progress, the reliable full-back is confident in possession, economical with his passing and fully aware of his defensive duties.
James was at Preston's Academy after also being on the books at Rossendale United and Blackburn Rovers.