James Named Heisman Finalist

James (eDuck file photo)

Even though he thinks the award should be a team honor, Oregon running back today was named one of four finalist for the Heisman Trophy. James is the nation's leading rusher with 1,682 yards and scoring averaging two touchdowns per game. He is also the only non-quarterback among the finalist.

Sophomore LaMichael James, along with Auburn's Cam Newton, Stanford's Andrew Luck and Boise State's Kellen Moore are the finalist for the award to be presented in New York City at the Best Buy Theater on Saturday and will be carried live on ESPN starting at 5 p.m. (PT).

James will first attend The Home Depot College Football Awards show on Thursday at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., before traveling to New York. Thursday's show will be televised live on ESPN at 4 p.m. PT

Interestingly, James has met Luck and Moore in competition before, and will face Newton when the Oregon Ducks take on the Auburn Tigers on January 10, 2011 in the BCS Championship game in Glendale, Arizona.

James, who established a Pac-10 freshman rushing standard a year ago with 1,546 yards, set the sophomore conference mark this season. He ranks second all-time at Oregon with 3,228 rushing yards and is tied for second with 36 total touchdowns.

Also a finalist for the Walter Camp Football Foundation 2010 Player of the Year and Doak Walker Award, presented annually to the nation's top running back, James is the second Oregon player in the modern era to be considered a finalist and invited to New York. Former quarterback Joey Harrington attended the ceremony in 2004 and his fourth-place finish stands as the highest in school history.

Five UO players, including Harrington, have placed among the top ten in final Heisman Trophy voting – the most recent being quarterback Dennis Dixon, who finished fifth in 2007. Halfback Jay Graybeal was ninth in 1939, quarterback Norm Van Brocklin finished sixth in 1948 and quarterback George Shaw placed eighth in 1954.

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