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LaMichael James


LaMichael James

LaMichael James
James holding an award in January 2010.
No. 23     San Francisco 49ers
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1989-10-22) October 22, 1989 (age 24)
Place of birth: New Boston, Texas
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)Weight: 195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school: Texarkana (TX) Liberty-Eylau
College: Oregon
NFL Draft: 2012 / Round: 2 / Pick: 61
Debuted in 2012 for the San Francisco 49ers
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2012

LaMichael Keondrae James (born October 22, 1989) is an American football running back for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). The 2010 NCAA college football season was a breakout one for James, as he rushed for 1,682 yards during the regular season, the highest in the nation. He finished third in balloting for the Heisman Trophy and received the Doak Walker Award. In 2011 he became Oregon's career rushing leader and rushed for a school-record 1,805 yards that season. He is considered to be one of the top running backs throughout his college career, with his 5,082 total rushing yards placing him 2nd in Pacific-12 Conference history and 14th in NCAA history. The 49ers selected James in the second round with the 61st pick in the 2012 Draft.

High school career

He attended Liberty-Eylau High School in Texarkana, Texas, where he played for the Liberty-Eylau Leopards high school football team.[1] As a sophomore he rushed for 643 yards and 10 touchdowns on 76 carries. In his junior season he totaled 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns on 229 carries while adding 500 yards receiving, 3 touchdowns and 33 receptions. James continued his dominance during his senior campaign to the tune of 2,043 yards and 24 touchdowns on 230 touches, averaging 8.9 yards per carry.[2]

College career

James attended the University of Oregon, where he played for coach Chip Kelly's Oregon Ducks football team from 2009 to 2011. After the suspension of LeGarrette Blount, James became the starting running back for the Ducks in 2009. He helped the Ducks to upset victories over Utah and California with 152 and 118 rushing yards, respectively.[3] He again rushed for over 100 yards on October 10 against UCLA with 152 yards on 20 carries.[3]

Once again, James eclipsed the 100 yard mark with 154 yards rushing on 15 carries against Washington on October 24, and on October 31 with 183 yards to upset then No. 5 USC.[4][5] He led all BCS-conference running backs with 6.9 yards per carry.[6]

On December 7, 2009, James was named Pac-10 Offensive Freshman of the Year.[7]

On March 9, 2010, head coach Chip Kelly announced that James would be suspended for the season opening game of the 2010 season, following his guilty plea for physical harassment against his former girlfriend.[8]

Against Portland State James rushed for 227 yards on 14 carries and scored two touchdowns in a 69-0 shutout win, the Ducks' second shutout on the year. The next week against Arizona State James was held to only 94 rushing yards, but the total was enough to move James past the 2,000 yard mark for his career. Against Arizona Wildcats James rushed for 126 yards, 2 touchdowns and surpassed LeGarrette Blount's single season scoring record. James had a season high against the Stanford Cardinal by garnering 3 touchdowns, and 257 yards on 31 rushes. Over the course of the season, James had eclipsed the century mark 9 times, only failing to reach 100 yards twice. All in all James has had 18 100+ rushing yard games in his career, a record at the University of Oregon.

Despite missing the first game of the 2010 season, due to suspension, James managed to break the Pac-10 all-time sophomore single season rushing record, and led the country in both rushing yards (1,682) and touchdowns (22), ultimately earning a trip to the annual Heisman Ceremony in New York as a finalist. Following James' 2010 season, he received the Doak Walker award, given to best running back in the country, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American.[9] He was also a Pac-12 All-Academic selection. The Ducks finished regular season play undefeated (12-0) and ranked No. 2 in both the BCS and the AP poll. They played the top-ranked Auburn Tigers in the 2011 BCS National Championship Game in Glendale, Arizona. In that game, James had two touchdown receptions, including one that set up the game-tying two-point conversion. Nevertheless, James' season ended with disappointment when Auburn kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired for a 22-19 win.

In the first game of the 2011 season against LSU, James became Oregon's career rushing leader, surpassing the mark previously set by Derek Loville. In the 3rd game of the season against Missouri State, James ran for 204 yards, 3 touchdowns, and for his 4th career 200+ yard rushing game. On September 24 in a game against Arizona, James rushed for an Oregon single game record of 288 yards on 24 carries.[10]

On October 6, 2011, against California, ESPN radars clocked James at 24 MPH. Also on October 6, 2011, in the same game against California, James fell awkwardly on his right arm and left with an air cast. In a post-game statement, he announced X-rays were negative for a break and that he had suffered a dislocated elbow but popped it back into place before leaving the field.[11]

On December 2, 2011, James won the Pac-12 Championship Game MVP, while rushing for 3 touchdowns.

On January 2, 2012, James rushed for 159 yards on 25 carries with one touchdown to help Oregon beat Wisconsin 45-38 in the Rose Bowl.

Track and field

James was also a track star at the University of Oregon. Despite limited workouts with school’s track team, he scored 5th in the 2010 Pac-10 championships at 100 meters while posting a personal best time of 10.50 seconds in the semifinals. Also anchored 4x100 relay to 4th place.

Personal bests

Event Time (seconds) Venue Date
60 meters 6.87 Seattle, Washington February 12, 2011
100 meters 10.50 Berkeley, California May 15, 2010

Professional career

2012 NFL Combine

James was drafted 61st overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2012 NFL Draft.

San Francisco 49ers

James played in his first NFL game in Week 14 against the Dolphins. He carried the ball 8 times for 30 yards and had a 3.7 yard avg. He also caught a 15-yard reception. In Week 15 against the Patriots, he had 8 carries for 31 yards. He also had a 62-yard kickoff return after the Patriots had completed a 28 point comeback to tie the game up, leading to a touchdown the next play for the 49ers. James scored his first career touchdown in the 2012 NFC Championship against the Atlanta Falcons.

Awards and honors

  • 2010 Doak Walker Award
  • 2010 Heisman Trophy finalist (3rd)
  • 2010 Premier Player of College Football Trophy finalist (3rd)
  • 2010 AFCA All-American[12]
  • 2010 First Team AP All-American
  • 2010 FWAA All-American[13]
  • 2010 WCFF All-American[14]
  • 2010 First Team All-Pac-10[15]
  • 2010 Pac-10 First-Team All-Academic
  • 2009 Pac-10 Offensive Freshman of the Year[7]
  • 2009 Sporting News Third Team All-American[16]
  • 2009 AP Third Team All-American[17]
  • 2009 Second Team All-MLG team [18]
  • Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week, twice (Oct. 31, 2009,[19] Oct. 4, 2010)
  • Oregon's career rushing leader


James was born in New Boston, Texas to Rosemary James.[20] He was raised by his maternal grandmother Betty James in Texarkana, Texas. His father was killed before he was born, and his mother was in and out of his life. His grandmother died of cervical cancer when he was a high school junior, after which he chose to live by himself in their home until he graduated from high school.[21]

See also

  • List of Division I FBS rushing touchdown leaders


External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Pro-Football-Reference
  • Official Website
  • San Francisco 49ers profile
  • Oregon Ducks bio

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