Over the past three decades, the University of Miami has been home to a number of great football players. From quarterbacks to tight ends to linebackers to defensive backs, Miami has seen undeniable talent at every position.
This holds especially true at the running back position, where Miami has seen the likes of Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee and Frank Gore. These great running backs have forged separate but equally great paths.
The legacy that these players have left behind makes it quite unfair to ask anyone to have to fill their shoes, but if anyone is to fill those shoes, Javarris James seems like the right choice.
“Guys like Willis McGahee and Frank Gore are always telling me to come in and be the best. That is my goal,” James said. “I know that being compared to guys like my cousin [Edgerrin James], Willis McGahee and Clinton Portis is a great honor. Hopefully, I can break some of the records they set, but my main thing is to do what Clinton Portis did and bring a National Championship to Miami.”
James came to Miami following in the footsteps of his cousin, Edgerinn “Edge” James. Coming in, James expected to be red-shirted this season playing behind Tyrone Moss and Charlie Jones, but injuries and suspensions opened the door for the freshman to take a major role in the offense.
“I feel like, right now, I am doing pretty good, playing as a freshman. Coming in, I really didn’t expect to play,” James said. “I know that I have to keep working hard. I am starting to get a feel for the game.”
Since taking over the starting job five games ago against Houston, James has rushed for over 100 yards three of the five games and has found the end zone twice. Overall on the season, James has rushed for 549 yards and three touchdowns. He is also averaging an impressive 5.8 yards per carry.
James leads all Hurricanes with his 95 carries and 549 yards. Additionally, he has 11 receptions for 139 yards and one touchdown.
“I just want that when someone says Javarris James, they say that he was a hard working guy,” James said. “He worked hard in the weight room, in the classroom, and on the field. He was one of the best running backs to have come through Miami.”
The way James is playing right now, it seems quite possible that James will forge his own path to greatness at Miami. He is a shifty runner with tremendous balance, great hands and good instincts. He knows how and when to make people miss, but he is also aware of when he needs to lower his shoulders and drive the pile.
Purely stated, James is a football player. Not only does he have all physical tools that make him a promising young star, but he also has the mental fortitude that all great athletes require.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to be in college and be at the University of Miami,” James said. “A lot of my friends and family would like to be in my position right now. I just have to remember how lucky I am and make the best of my situation.”
Additionally, James brings with him a relentless desire to win. Mixed with his physical and mental strength, this desire to win could prove to be a lethal combination for opposing teams.
“Winning is the key. Winning means everything,” James said. “If you don’t fight to win, you will never become a great football player. Before I leave Miami, I hope to become the best football player I can possibly become, and I hope I can bring a National Championship here.”
Pravin Patel may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.