James Return is Good News

James (eDuck file photo)

LaMichael James announcement that he would stay at Oregon relieved many concerns about Oregon football in 2011.

A poster on Talefeathers may have summed it up the best by saying, "...LMJ returning next year it feels like we just signed a 5* running back."

LaMichael James, the 2010 Doak Walker Award winner, lead the Pac-10 Conference in rushing with 1,682 yards and 21 touchdowns plus one receiving touchdown. He also was a Heisman Trophy candidate this season, coming in third place.

Although rated a 3-star prospect coming out of high school three years ago, James dominance on the field amply demonstrates just how much of a guessing game recruiting really is. James burst on the scene last season during the Ducks run to the Rose Bowl and certainly didn't miss a beat this year as Oregon mowed down one opponent after another on the way to a perfect 12-0 record in the regular season.

Another of his post-season honors was that he named All-Pac-10 All-Academic.22

Many fans, especially those that populate the message boards on eDuck.com worried if the shifty running back would move on the NFL, but on Thursday James ended speculation by announcing he would return to school next season.

"I came to the University of Oregon to get a quality education as well as to play football, and feel I have yet to complete that goal," James said in media statement issued by the Oregon Athletic Department.

James maturation is clearly evident by the announcement he made on Thursday. When he came to Oregon he was rather shy and while be extremely respectful, was not exactly someone who found being the center of media attention comfortable. However, over the last two years, it is obviously easier for him talking with reporters. He has aslo been clear that one of his goals was to become all-academic in school.

James seems very grounded, knowing that a football career can end with one snap, and he is taking advantage of his opportunity to get a degree. James is a hard working guy on and off the field, and considering the amount of attention that awaits him next week in Glendale, Arizona, he seems to be taking it all in stride.

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