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.