Oregon running back LaMichael James is turning pro.
James, who has been the NCAA leader in rushing yards per game for two consecutive years, announced on Friday that he will enter the 2012 NFL draft.
Although James is a speedy playmaker, there are questions about his size (5-foot-9 and 195 pounds) and durability. There may also be character questions for James to answer: In 2010 James pleaded guilty to one count of physical harassment in connection with a domestic-violence incident. Oregon suspended him for one game.
But James is undeniably talented. There’s little doubt that Alabama’s Trent Richardson will be the first running back selected in this year’s NFL draft, but James has a shot — along with Virginia Tech’s David Wilson and Miami’s Lamar Miller — at being the second ball carrier off the board.