On one side of the BCS National title game, it’s all about Auburn QB Cam Newton.
One the other side, all the talk surrounds Oregon RB LaMichael James.
The stud running back has already made his decision to return for his
senior year, so he will no doubt be a first round pick in the 2012
(instead of 2011) NFL Draft.
Provided he maintains his health and productivity of course. But
James has had his legal issues and been flagged by some NFL scouts for
his character. It probably doesn’t help James that he goes to the same
school, and also has a “unique” first name like Tampa Bay Buccaneers
rookie rusher ; who went undrafted in 2010 due to character flags.
With Roger Goodell’s Draconian attempt to legislate morality, NFL team’s will stress the virtues (or lack thereof) in potential draft picks now more than ever.
Of course, Blount rushed for a 1,000 yards this year as a rookie, and
helped the Bucs have a surprisingly good season, so maybe the
association to Blount is good for James?
Q: LaMichael James. He had some rough patches. He had
the arrest, the NCAA accusations. I don’t know his character. If
you had to describe to me his character, how would you describe it?
A: The best character you can have. Above reproach. He is in a
situation where people are going to accuse him of things because of
who he is. I have all the confidence in the world he is a great
Oregon has a strict curfew this week, so there won’t be much chance
for any of the Oregon football team to really get into trouble heading
into the title game. James talked about not being allowed to have fun,
and how the work itself is fun. (I can relate to that, my work is much
more fun to me than my actual “fun time”)
“This is a once in a lifetime chance. You are probably never
going to get another chance at this. Who cares about going out
until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. This is a business trip for us.
We don’t want to go out and have fun. It is kind of fun to be
hanging out at the hotel with your teammates. It is fun coming in
here and talking to the media, of course, and practicing with
your teammates and doing different things with your team.It is
really a fun deal for us,” James said.
One guy who’s been portrayed as having impeccable character is Stanford QB Andrew Luck. Last week Luck made the seemingly inexplicable decision to turn down the money of being the #1 overall NFL Draft pick and come back to school. Very few people can understand why. James knows Luck and had a lot to say about what went down.
“I talk to Andrew a lot. Most people try to make it about money.
But nobody really understands the importance. A degree can take
you a long way. You can’t play football forever. I really respect
his decision to stay in school,” James said.
“It is a good decision. Most people don’t even understand the
importance of a degree. That’s something you can’t take away
from anybody. The world today, everybody thinks about money. It
is all about money and politics and all that other stuff. I think
it is his decision. It is not about money. I think that’s the
biggest confusion, it is all about money.”
James will have his shot at the NFL, but for now he’s got a big
college game to play. And he talked about what led him to Eugene,
“The stability of the coaching staff. That’s the big key for me.
The offense is really fun. I always wanted to play fast. I was
intrigued by all the uniforms…The throwback ones are my favorite. I play for Oregon. Oregon is a Nike school, so I’ll probably get Nike forever,” James said.
You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank
He also does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com
Filed under: College Football
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