Brighter Lights Are Calling!
Oregon RB LaMichael James leads the nation in rushing yards per game and on Friday night he and the Ducks will be playing in the first ever Pac 12 title game.
Position: Running Back
Weight: 195 lbs
Birthplace: Texarkana, Texas
James may be a Heisman finalist for the 2nd straight season and he already has the most rushing yards and rushing TD’s in Oregon history in only 3 years.
I’m of the opinion like most of the EXPERTS out there (Which of course I am not) that he’ll forgo his senior season to enter the NFL draft.
Here are 5 reasons James will be going pro.
1. Not much left to do
Fact: He is explosive.
Fact: He can outrun pretty much ANY defense in college football.
Fact: He can handle the workload.
Fact: He is one of the best running-backs in the country.
While James has been stellar for the Ducks for the last couple of seasons he has nothing to really prove. I guess when you look at it closely this is also a reason why he could come back to though. He would come back for OREGON team glory.
The Ducks are the defending conference champs and will, likely, be so again this season, but James still does not have a National Championship or a Heisman trophy.
He can come back and try to accomplish that. Of course we all know this can hurt his draft stock, I know…time will tell.
2. Draft stock
I mentioned this in the last point, but James’ draft stock cannot get much higher.
He is projected as a possible 2nd (by some folks) likely 3rd round pick. Even if he comes back next season and tears it up again his draft stock will likely not rise since he is not a big RB. I can see him going to a team like the Chargers to become the next Darren Sproles.
3. Can’t get any bigger
James came back to Oregon last season mainly to put on weight to show he can endure the rigors of the NFL. Another reason he came back is to add punt-return guy to his resume and he averaged nearly 13 yards per punt return this season.
He cannot get any bigger after putting on 20 pounds and he has already shown he is a legit returner.
4. Why risk injury
James had a big injury scare this season with a dislocated elbow and even though he has come back strong from that why risk getting injured again?
If he goes pro now he will be, at least, a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick, but if he gets injured we all know how that could haunt him.
5. Only so many carries
James is a 5’9″ RB that may not have as many carries in him as bigger backs and this is especially the case when he is taking hits from bigger and stronger guys in the NFL.
With only so much wear and tear on a body from a smaller RB he needs to maximize the time he has left, which is another reason a NFL team will be calling his name come the 2012 NFL draft.
He’ll make the perfect scat back though in the Pro’s in my opinion.
Most fans in Oregon will tell you he’s proven all he can in College football, and its time to cast his lot for the NFL. I don’t think a shot at the BCS, or another run at the Heisman Trophy, or a 4th Pac 12 title will motivate him to return to Eugene.
Last season he finished third in 2010/11 Heisman voting behind Andrew Luck and Cam Newton, this year he came back and has added to his resume.
Yes he did have the elbow injury scare but he’s clearly a Heisman candidate again, and he and Andrew Luck could be seeing each other again soon.
Behind the curtain at the 77th annual NFL draft on Thursday April 26th, 2012 in the Radio City Music Hall.
Jason Green contributed to this post.