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Report: LaMichael James to declare for NFL draft

Pac-12 Championship Game - UCLA v Oregon Getty Images

Given the relatively short shelf life a running back possesses, it’s normally wise for a collegiate player at that position to leave school early if he’s somewhat guaranteed of being selected high in the NFL draft.

So, as expected, one of the top backs in college football the past two seasons will reportedly be taking his skills to the next level next season.

Citing a source within the Oregon football program, The Oregonian is reporting that LaMichael James has decided to declare for the NFL draft after this season.  It’s been widely believed by most observers, including those connected to the Ducks program, that the 2011 season would be the junior’s last, so this wouldn’t exactly qualify as earth-shattering news.

Neither James nor UO have confirmed the decision.  James, along with every other draft-eligible player, has until mid-January to officially file their early-entry paperwork with the NFL to be eligible for the April 2012 draft.

Thus far, three players — all from the Miami Hurricanes — have been confirmed as early entrants this year.

James, after finishing ninth as a true freshman in 2009, led the nation in rushing yards per game in 2010 and is currently No. 1 again this year.  He’s the all-time leading rusher in Ducks history, and is largely viewed as a second-round(ish) pick in the upcoming draft, with the possibility of sneaking into the first round depending on team needs/pre-draft workouts.

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16 Responses to “Report: LaMichael James to declare for NFL draft”
  1. footballfan5255 says: Dec 14, 2011 7:15 PM

    Wish you best of luck LMJ.

  2. edgarh21 says: Dec 14, 2011 7:48 PM

    Wonder who will draft him. Can honestly see Broncos making a move for him if he falls done that low. Rams? Idk shoul be interesting

  3. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Dec 14, 2011 7:50 PM

    I’m a softy when it comes to the draft and a sucker for the underdog, unless they play against Lsu (then I hope… ).. I hope LaM J the very best also.
    But it would be tough to pick him first round or second, he just reminds me of another Reggie Bush with a little less dazzle.
    I would take him as a value pick for my special team.
    Either way Good Luck LMJ !!! I hope you success and prove me wrong.

  4. sundevil1982 says: Dec 14, 2011 8:08 PM

    Oregon is stacked. This will affect them none whatsoever. Hope he does well at the next level.

  5. mriversjr23 says: Dec 14, 2011 8:13 PM

    Boy he would look good in the Honolulu Blue and Silver!! Best can’t stay healthy so he would be a perfect fit for our system, IMHO

  6. broomehandle says: Dec 14, 2011 8:14 PM

    Not as good as Monte Ball

  7. thekatman says: Dec 14, 2011 8:15 PM

    LMJ will find that the NFL defensive linemen are significantly more focused to play their gaps and hold true to their mission, unlike in college…. LMJ will end up on the scout teams and not a true starter unless he significantly bulks up. he is easy to take down, as are all of the Oregon running backs. They’re fast and nimble, but so easy to trip up, hit and take down. See Boise State, Auburn, LSU and the USC games.

    Oregon may be deep at RB, but they are not heavy lifters.

  8. webfootdoug58 says: Dec 14, 2011 8:51 PM

    Whoa, just a moment there, it’s not really final.
    As of now (5:30 PST) local Eugene TV news is stating that that Oregonian report is not confirmed, and that in fact both the UO and LMJ himself are supposedly denying that it’s a final decision.

    Well, I don’t know, this is probably irrelevant, as I think we’ve all assumed James would go pro at the end of this season. It’s probably just a matter of formality.
    Still, it reminds us that we should wait for the official report and not jump on media rumors.

    Much as we’ve loved watching him lead Oregon to all these victories, we agree it’s time he goes, he deserves it. As you say, the life of an NFL running back is short.

    He’s already been banged up enough this year, especially with that elbow. The truth is, he doesn’t seem to have had quite the super great year this year, as last year– even with all his yardage, he’s not a consensus All American this year; even his own team mates voted frosh sensation DeAnthony Thomas, not LMJ., as the Duck’s most outstanding player.

    So yes, let LaMichael go out and get some of the financial rewards he well deserves, before his body is too knocked about to earn the big money. With all their sacrifices and excellence, few enough of these Oregon players will be getting the big NFL paychecks.

    I look at the ridiculous, multi-million dollar salaries of the big-time coaches, including Kelly, and realize they wouldn’t be winning, and becoming millionaires, without the work and talents of these outstanding players.
    Should we ask LMJ to put his body on the line for one more year for the Team and Good Old UO?

    I think of Andrew Luck at Stanford, staying one more year,
    while his coach Harbaugh deserts the team for a fat NFL coaching contract. If our coaches don’t “sacrifice for the team”, why should we expect the players to? If coaches model this idea “you gotta pursue what’s best for you”, why should these young athletes do otherwise?

    Much as I dislike the idea of paying college football players and ruining their amateur status, we have to admit that stars like LMJ gave a hell of a lot more to our university than they got in return.

    We join all those of you who graciously wish him luck….in the Rose Bowl, and the NFL.

  9. rubbernilly says: Dec 14, 2011 8:53 PM

    @mriversjr23:

    I disagree that he’ll end up here in Detroit… unless he falls in the draft. Best may be broken… he might be permanently broken… but I think that would give the front office a bit of pause taking another flash-back. Besides, Mikel LeShoure will be back, and Kevin Smith will at least be invited back to training camp. An ACL tear is something guys come back from after a year, but sometimes don’t really get their quickness or burst back for 2 years… and that’s the point Smith is at right now. When he was right this year, we saw flashes of the old Smith. He’s a little banged up now, but I’m betting he’ll get another shot.

    Couple all of that with the team needs (OT, CB, LB, probably in that order), and I don’t see the Lions spending a 1st rounder on a smallish RB. Maybe not even a 2nd rounder.

    And don’t forget the organization’s proclivity to draft *at* their strengths (revisit the Fairley pick when Suh, VandenBosch, Williams, and crew were already in place). Titus Young is a great speedster and slot receiver, but I could see them going for a Blackmon, for instance, if they could trade up in the draft. Now I really don’t think they’re going to get Blackmon, but if they did… Megatron, Blackmon, Titus Young, Burleson, Pettigrew, Scheffler… that would be something.

    But as for Lemichael James… I don’t see it.

  10. webfootdoug58 says: Dec 14, 2011 9:07 PM

    To be fair to Chip Kelly, I should have noted that he in fact has shown a great deal of loyalty to Oregon, and has not considered any of the gigantic offers he has received with the Duck’s success.
    His passionate support for university ex-President LaRiviere is legendary.

  11. ezwriter69 says: Dec 14, 2011 10:27 PM

    This kid will be a real force, he has Chris Johnson level potential— if he can stay healthy.

  12. ezwriter69 says: Dec 14, 2011 10:35 PM

    thekatman, you’re so right, Jonathan Stewart and LaGarrette Blount just don’t run tough at all… SO easy to trip up, those two.

    And you are an ignorant fool. If you have no clue what you’re talking about, just keep it zipped, huh?

  13. mondzy805 says: Dec 14, 2011 11:41 PM

    He one hit away from it all being over anyway. Go get your money.

  14. thekatman says: Dec 15, 2011 12:28 AM

    I standby my comment.. And the young man with the “69” name, didn’t you learn to not piss in the wind? Read the post carefully.

  15. webfootdoug58 says: Dec 15, 2011 2:47 AM

    “IT’S A LIE”, says LaMichael James about the Oregonian’s “inside story” of his decision to enter the NFL draft now.
    “Don’t believe it till you hear it from me”, he posts on his facebook.

    Well, maybe he will stay after all– he’s a mature, independent man, no longer the immature kid with some bad habits who arrived here from Texas; he enjoys the academic life, prefers the classroom to national banquets, and maybe he’s decided this university life is best for him now. If so, Oregon is a VERY LUCKY team!

    But if he still does decide to go pro, nobody will second guess him here, it’s his choice. He’s paid his dues in spades.

    And memo to John- you’d be safer relying on the Eugene Register-Guard news than these Portland Oregonian rumors.

  16. Derty Ernie says: Dec 15, 2011 4:58 PM

    Ya I suppose he doesn’t want to destroy what knee he has left.

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