Don't Sleep on James

Mike James

With Scout's #1 ranked running back already on the commitment list, it might be easy for fellow Miami Commitment Mike James to be the forgotten man at running back for the Hurricanes. But I'm here to tell you, don't sleep on James.

The Miami Hurricanes not so long ago had an embarrassment of riches at the running back position. Willis McGahee gets hurt; everyone, meet Mr. Frank Gore. Remember Mike Ditka giving away his entire draft to take Ricky Williams from Texas. That was quite a lot of picks to give up for the second running back taken in the draft, as Miami's Edgerrin James went ahead of Williams and stayed ahead of him in total yards from scrimmage.

I don't think anyone would argue that the Miami Hurricanes have lost a bit of their swagger in the last few years. Why is that? What was once Quarterback U has had up and down performances at the position that once defined the program, but Miami also hasn't had what can be considered a franchise back since Gore and McGahee were mowing down the competition.

That's changing.

Freshman Graig Cooper burst onto the scene as a freshman with a solid 682 yards and four touchdowns in 2007. Bryce Brown is Scout's #1 ranked running back for the Class of 2009, and the forgotten man may be Mike James of Ridge Community High School.

It's hard to say a running back rated four-stars by Scout is under-rated, but it's easy to say that with the #1 guy joining him on the commitment list, James might be overlooked.

He shouldn't be.

James is a feature back in his own right that brings a lot of tools to the field. Listed at 5-11 and 210 pounds, James has the bounce of a scatback, the straight ahead speed of a sprinter, and the power to run between the tackles. 

He uses his blocks well, and he is extremely unselfish. There's a saying that "you can't measure a player's heart", and I agree with that, but I've always countered with "you can sure tell if he's got one or not, just watch what he does without the ball."

Playing in an option offense, James was called on to block quite often last year, and it was a job that he took to with fervor. On one play that I watched, he was the lead blocker for an quarterback sweep, and James got his hat on three defenders before the play was over. 

His blocking and effort are what make players like him a coach's dream, but it's his natural talent that brought a cascade of scholarship offers this spring.

Here is a look at James in action against Avon Park. He shows the ability to get to the corner, and the ability to get tough yards up the middle.

Brown may be the headliner in this Hurricane class, but it would be a mistake to count out James. He's got four stars for a reason.

#5 RB Mike James
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