LaMichael James: 3 Reasons He Should Choose the NFL After the Rose Bowl

Johnathan CaceCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2011

LaMichael James: 3 Reasons He Should Choose the NFL After the Rose Bowl

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    Last week, a report surfaced that Oregon running back LaMichael James would forgo his senior year and declare early for the NFL Draft. He has since come out and said that he will wait until after the Rose Bowl to make a decision.

    When that time comes, should the stud running back leave early or play another year in Eugene?

    There really shouldn’t be any question about it, James should head on to bigger and better things at the end of this season. Here are three reasons why.

Talent Behind Him

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    The biggest thing to consider in this is how much talent is sitting behind James on the depth chart. Kenjon Barner, De’Anthony Thomas and Tra Carson have all shown that they can be great running backs. Also, 4-star recruit Byron Marshall is coming to Oregon next year.

    In order for Oregon to continue to be relevant, it has to continue bringing in guys like that, but it won’t happen if they don’t think they’ll end up playing.

    It would be best for the entire program if James left this season.

Nothing Left to Prove

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    LaMichael missed two games and still has 1,646 rushing yards on the season, which is fourth nationally. His yards per carry average has shot all the way up to an incredible 7.4. He’s averaging 150 yards per game in a season shortened by injury. There really is nothing left for him to prove in college.

    With the extra game the Pac-12 Championship gave Oregon, he could have eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark on the season if he had stayed healthy, and NFL scouts know that. Other than winning the Heisman, there really is nothing else James can do to raise his stock.


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    The biggest knock on James is his size, but he is not going to get any bigger in college than he would in the NFL. Plus, the stock of these smaller scatbacks has dramatically increased with the play of guys like Darren Sproles. He isn’t going to get much more bang for his buck by waiting another year.

    Then, you have to consider how short the shelf life is on running backs nowadays. They take a pounding on a regular basis, and it is the one position that the league hasn’t gone out of its way to protect. He would be making a terrible financial decision by sticking around.